Liverpool appear to have received a significant boost in the race to sign Paris Saint-Germain star Javier Pastore.
The Reds have repeatedly been linked with a potential move for the Argentina international in the past and it looks as if their chances of landing the 24-year-old in the new year - on a temporary basis, at least - have markedly improved.
According to reports in Italy cited by talkSPORT, Pastore - who has previously not seemed particularly keen to leave the club he joined from Serie A side Palermo during the summer of 2011 - is considering his options and appears certain to leave the Parc des Princes on loan in January.
Liverpool's need for midfield reinforcements would appear to have dramatically increased in recent weeks, with talismanic captain Steven Gerrard set to face an extended spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.
Gerrard is not the only Liverpool midfielder to have suffered a knock. Jordan Henderson has also been struggling through injury woes, with manager Brendan Rodgers likely to have to start him alongside the likes of Lucas Leiva and former Swansea star Joe Allen for the potentially tricky Premier League trip to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon.
Like many other players during this pivotal World Cup year Pastore, a hugely-creative presence who is most at home playing in an advanced role behind the frontmen, is sure to have his eye firmly set on earning his place in his nation's squad for the 2014 tournament in neighbouring Brazil.
Whether he is able to achieve that while remaining with the Ligue 1 champions, however, is a matter for keen debate.
Pastore - reportedly rated at around £17 million - has made 11 appearances in the league so far this season and has yet to register a single goal or an assist alongside the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani.
A loan switch - whether that be to Liverpool or any other reputable European club - could well be a profitable experience for the former Huracan star.
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