Alberto Aquilani's second chance to make a success of his Liverpool career could be curtailed, with Brendan Rodgers vowing to judge whether or not to include him in his squad for 2012/13 this week.
Following an underwhelming first campaign as Xabi Alonso's successor, Aquilani has spent two fairly impressive seasons back in Italy with Juventus and AC Milan, but like fellow loan leaver Joe Cole is hungry to earn a shot at redemption at Liverpool.
Rodgers was expected to grant that opportunity, however weekend developments have reopened uncertainty over his future. Reports suggested that Fiorentina were close to striking a deal for the Roman playmaker, only for his agent to rule out a return to Serie A and emphasise his desire to stay.
His boss wasn't quite as keen to guarantee that he will remain though, stating that he has offered no assurances and is instead using the 28-year-old's pre-season contribution to gauge his value to the 3.7511/4-rated top-four hopefuls.
Rodgers said: "I have wanted to assess him over the first few weeks of training. Over the course of the next week, I will make a decision on what's going to be best for us, whether he will be useful for the group or whether it's best for him to move on."
Given that Liverpool have been strongly linked with Swansea midfielder Joe Allen over the last fortnight, it seems reasonable to assume that Aquilani's fate could be determined by whether or not they manager to lure the Wales international to Anfield.
With Steven Gerrard, Lucas Leiva, Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson, Jonjo Shelvey and Jay Spearing all options in the centre of the park, they are well stocked regardless of whether they sign Allen.
As a result, Adam has emerged as a possible Fulham target, yet one place he won't be welcome is Tottenham, with Gareth Bale labelling him "a bit of a coward" after he injured him in a friendly, the second time he has taken the Spurs star out. Kyle Walker continued the attack, calling him "jealous".