Liverpool have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Lille midfielder Renato Sanches.
The Portugal international, who played a key role in the French club's improbable Ligue 1 title triumph last term, suffered a knee injury at the weekend.
He is expected to be out of action for six weeks, making a move away from his current employers unlikely.
The transfer window closes at 11pm on August 31, leaving clubs across Europe with less than a fortnight to conclude their business.
Georginio Wijnaldum was a regular starter this season but his exit on a free transfer has reduced the Reds' options in midfield.
Sanches is said to be one of the players Jurgen Klopp was interested in following his impressive exploits in 2020/21.
The midfielder restored his reputation at Lille last season after a difficult few years elsewhere.
A loan spell at Swansea was the low point in Sanches' career to date, while he also failed to establish himself at Bayern Munich.
Still only 24, Sanches showed last season that he still has plenty left to give.
He was also a rare bright spot for Portugal at Euro 2020, despite being left out of the team by Fernando Santos early on.
The former Benfica man now looks set to remain at Lille until January at the earliest.
That might not be a bad thing for Sanches, who will not necessarily be in a hurry to leave a place where he is settled.
He is under contract with the Ligue 1 side until 2023 and might consider next summer a better time to move on.
Moreover, there is no indication that Liverpool were on the verge of submitting an offer for Sanches at the time of his unfortunate injury.
The Reds have numerous options in the engine room despite the departure of Wijnaldum.
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