They say never go back. Glenn Hoddle to Spurs? Tony Mowbray to West Brom? Joey Barton to polite society? It rarely works, but Thomas Ince could be set to return to Liverpool only a year after leaving the Anfield club.
The son of former Reds star Paul, the 20-year-old has been making great strides at Blackpool since joining them on a free 15 months ago.
He was let go from Anfield after failing to make much of an impression under Kenny Dalglish, even after scoring two goals in a brief loan stint at Notts County, and Ian Holloway snapped him up for nothing, although a 35% sell on clause was included.
He’s scored 24 goals in 50 league games for the Tangerines and that has got the Premier League vultures circling. Manchester United and Arsenal have also been linked but it is his former club that seems to have the march.
Ince has also been impressing for the England under-21 team and has been tipped to make the step up to full honours.
This has led to Brendan Rodgers putting Ince near the top of his January wishlist, hoping that the young, pacy striker will be the perfect foil for Luis Suarez. With the Uruguayan dropping deep or moving wide, Ince could be the focal point of a Liverpool attack who haven’t been firing this season at all.
Ince has been the main man at Blackpool this season, scoring a third of their goals and they will probably be quite keen to hold on to him, at least until the summer. However, a bid of around £6m would almost certainly be enough to tempt the North-West club into selling, although that 35% sell-on clause could result in a slightly higher bid being required.
It is unlikely that Ince will still be at Bloomfield Road past next summer and the odds are pretty high that he will end up at a top half club. Whether Liverpool stump up the cash for their former player or not, remains to be seen.