Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso will reject the chance to rejoin Liverpool, in favour of signing for Chelsea in January, according to the Daily Star.
The Spain international has entered the final 12 months of his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu, and will be available at a knockdown price when the transfer window reopens.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers would love to bring Alonso back to Anfield, the place where he enjoyed five successful seasons before a £30million move to La Liga in 2009.
Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group have given Rodgers the go-ahead to step up his pursuit, of a player that falls outside the club's policy to primarily invest in youth development, with one eye on the long-term future.
However, the Merseyside club's hopes of re-signing the 31-year-old have been dealt a blow, after it emerged that the Real Madrid star would favour a reunion with Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge.
The Chelsea manager worked with Alonso during his time in the Spanish capital, and is confident he can tempt the deep-lying playmaker to west London at the turn of the year.