Liverpool have been dealt a heavy blow in their attempts to bolster their defensive line, after Lazio centre-back Stefan de Vrij reportedly put pen-to-paper to extend his contract with the Serie A side.
The Dutchman had just a matter of months left on his deal, but Liverpool's plans of signing the player for free appear to have been lost after he committed his future to Lazio.
As reported by Italian outlet Il Messaggero, via talkSPORT, both Liverpool and Juventus look set to miss out on the 25-year-old, who is believed to have agreed a more lucrative deal than his previous £50k-per-week.
However, the contract is thought to have a £27m release clause, which could see the Reds attempt to sign the player regardless of his new deal.
It could be the case that Lazio has convinced de Vrij to sign the contract out of loyalty to the club, in terms of not allowing himself to leave for nothing in January.
The Reds may well jump at the chance to sign de Vrij for £27m, which is a far more reasonable fee than the lofty demands of Southampton for Liverpool's key summer target and fellow Dutchman Virgil van Dijk.
Lazio has been in excellent form so far this season, blowing sides away with their impressive attacking flair.
If they win their game in-hand over their rivals they could move within one point of the currently unbeaten leaders Napoli.
Playing in the heart of a strong back-three, de Vrij has excelled in Lazio back-line this season, attracting much attention from rival managers.