Steven Gerrard's thigh injury will almost certainly scupper any thoughts Liverpool had of selling Xabi Alonso to raise money for a Gareth Barry deal.
The Anfield skipper returned from Oslo having picked up the injury in the 4-1 win over Valerenga and had a scan and further medical tests today.
Boss Rafael Benitez believes it is 'touch and go' whether Gerrard will be fit for next Wednesday's Champions League third qualifying round, first leg fixture away to Standard Liege.
If Gerrard is not fit for that match then Alonso will have to play, considering that fellow midfielders Javier Mascherano and Lucas are away at the Olympics.
And once Alonso becomes cup-tied in the Champions League his value will drop significantly.
Alonso, valued at over £16m by Benitez, would only ever consider a move to another of the Champions League elite. Otherwise he would be dropping down a level, and the chance to play in the UEFA Cup would not interest him.
And with the Barry deal seemingly no nearer completion, despite the green light from Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill at the weekend, Benitez may soon have to look at other means of raising the cash.
It was thought that the club's American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett would come up with a short-term loan to allow Benitez to complete the Barry deal and then sell players.
And observers had been expecting the deal to be completed by now, bearing in mind that it was supposed to have been almost tied up last week before O'Neill's self-imposed deadline, withdrawn by the Villa boss at the weekend.
Any chance of Barry being unveiled at Friday's home friendly with Lazio seems long gone, which puts a further question mark on the Americans' ability to raise the cash.
And Benitez has clearly been impressed by Alonso's pre-season form - he has scored two in two now - while Yossi Benayoun's desire to stay at Anfield is obvious, too.
Benitez praised Alonso's performance in Oslo, saying: "Xabi scored a good goal after scoring a penalty against Rangers on Saturday so this is very positive.
"He is showing that he is a good professional but then we already knew this and I am very pleased with his commitment on the pitch."
Benitez is unlikely to try to order back from China his Olympic trio of Mascherano, Lucas and Ryan Babel, despite the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to allow clubs to pull their players out of the Games.
Liverpool declined to comment officially today on the surprise ruling that allows clubs to withdraw their players after Barcelona, Werder Bremen and Schalke appealed.
But Benitez does not want to upset his three players who are about to start the tournament later this week, particularly Mascherano, who wants to win a second gold medal with Argentina.
To recall them now would certainly leave Benitez with three very unhappy players, all of whom have made it clear they want to be in China.
So he will soldier on with the players he has fit for next week's trip to Liege.
And if the money is not forthcoming from the American owners to push the Barry deal through, Benitez is expected to look elsewhere for finance rather than sell Alonso or Benayoun.
The Barry deal would require him to find half of the £18m now, the rest payable in a year.
So the likes of Jermaine Pennant and Andriy Voronin are likely to be sold to raise around £9million, but that would mean the deal is unlikely to be completed until the end of the transfer window.
Meanwhile the Reds have confirmed Sebastian Leto has signed a one-year loan agreement with Greek outfit Olympiacos and not a two-year deal as has been widely reported.
The 21-year-old midfielder, who joined the Reds from Lanus in 2007, had his work permit application refused last week and the club were forced to loan him out.
Leto's contract with Olympiacos runs until 30 June, 2009 - meaning it is effectively a one season deal - contrary to reports which suggested a two-year contract had been agreed.Reuse content