Liverpool will sign David Bentley in January - but only if they can get a cut-price deal.
According to Goal.com, the Reds are only ready to sign the Spurs winger 'on the cheap' as a squad player and, hence, could lose out on the 26-year-old to a more serious bidder.
Birmingham are understood to be willing to offer more than the £5 million on the table for Liverpool and have now emerged as the favourites for his signature.
The ex-Blackburn man has endured a nightmare two years at Spurs since his switch from Ewood Park and is desperate to get out of White Hart Lane.
It had initially been reported this week that Bentley had his eye on a move to Liverpool next month but there are now suggestions he would reject the Anfield club if they can't guarantee him first-team football.
However, one thing that stands in Bentley's favour is his relationship with Liverpool director of football strategy - who signed him during his time with Tottenham.
Comolli has supposedly told Roy Hodgson that the former England attacker would represent a worthwhile investment and the 63-year-old is thought to be keen to draft him in to bolster Liverpool's goalscoring options.
The Liverpool boss has identified his attacking department as the most in need of reinforcement come January after admitting his side rely too heavily on the prowess of Anfield hero Fernando Torres in front of goal.
As well as Bentley, Aston Villa winger Ashley Young and CSKA Moscow star Keisuke Honda have also been linked with New Year moves to Anfield as Hodgson and Comolli look to spend the cash of Liverpool owners NESV.
The Americans are thought to be prepared to back their manager with upwards of £20 million during the transfer window in order to bring fresh blood to Liverpool.