Liverpool have been dealt a blow in their alleged pursuit of Diego Capel, after it emerged that Sporting Lisbon will not let the midfielder leave Estádio José Alvalade in January, reports Sky Sports.
The 25-year-old winger has been recently linked with a cut-price £5million move to Merseyside when the transfer window reopens, but that story in the Daily Mirror now appears wide of the mark, after a source close to the Portuguese club denied any possible exits.
"We could not break the squad in a season with serious chances to win the title," said the source. "It is possible for next summer, but any value of a player would have to be met."
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers will now have to turn his attention to alternative targets, if he remains keen to strengthen his Anfield squad before the end of the season.
With Sporting Lisbon setting their sights on the Primeira Liga title, following a disappointing seventh place finish in 2012/13, Capel could play an instrumental role in restoring the club to former glories.
A transfer to Liverpool remains a possibility in the summer, but for now, the Spain international will be focusing on maintaining his fine form for Leonardo Jardim's side.