Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has given the strongest hint yet that Robbie Keane's days at Anfield may be numbered.
The Dubliner hasn't featured in either of Liverpool's last two league games and was left on the bench last Saturday as Rafael Benitez chose to introduce midfielder Lucas Leiva rather than the £20m striker in a failed attempt to find a winner against Hull City.
Gerrard and Keane share the same agent, and former Anfield great Mark Lawrenson yesterday revealed that the Liverpool skipper had told him that he feared for Keane's future at the club and that the striker could be on his way out in January.
In an interview with 'The Last Word' on Today FM, Lawrenson said he had spoken with Gerrard after his two goals rescued a point against Hull and, when Keane's future came up, Lawrenson was told that things didn't look good for Keane at Anfield.
It has also been reported that Liverpool have, to date, only paid £5m of the fee to Tottenham, which would make it easier to strike a deal with Spurs if Harry Redknapp wants to bring the Republic of Ireland captain back to White Hart Lane.
Meanwhile, Liverpool boss Benitez is to undergo minor surgery after being taken to hospital suffering from kidney stone pains.
The problem is not serious and the Spaniard is expected to be back at work before the end of the week.
The news comes just days after his Chelsea counterpart Luiz Felipe Scolari revealed he had been suffering from the same complaint.
A Liverpool spokesman said: "Rafa was admitted to hospital last night after suffering problems with a kidney stone.
"He will undergo a minor operation this afternoon and is expected to return to work within two or three days.
"He remains in good spirits and everyone at Liverpool wishes him a very speedy recovery.''
This story was sourced from the Belfast TelegraphReuse content