LIVERPOOL look set to miss out on Connor Wickham after Sunderland had a £9million offer accepted for the Ipswich Town striker.
The Reds were favourites to sign the highly-rated England Under-21 international, who was desperate to make the move to Anfield.
However, Liverpool have so far failed to meet Ipswich's valuation of the 18-year-old frontman and the Black Cats have pounced.
Sunderland will pay around £9million up front with the fee potentially rising to £12million with add-ons.
Wickham, who has scored 15 goals in 72 appearances for the Championship outfit, has been given permission to discuss personal terms and he's expected to undergo a medical in the North East today.
The Black Cats have cash to splash after Liverpool paid them £16million for Jordan Henderson earlier this month and boss Steve Bruce will attempt to convince Wickham his future lies at the Stadium of Light.
Reds director of football Damien Comolli watched Wickham on a number of occasions last season and he earned rave reviews.
But unless there is a dramatic change of heart at Anfield and the Reds decide to match Sunderland's bumper offer then boss Kenny Dalglish will focus his attention on other targets.
The continental transfer window opens on Friday and Dalglish remains keen to boost his strikeforce.
David Ngog is expected to move on this summer and Liverpool will need back up for Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll.
The Reds remain on course to complete a deal for Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam and are hopeful a fee can be agreed with Aston Villa for winger Stewart Downing.
A left-back is also on the agenda with Newcastle's Jose Enrique still under consideration.
The 25-year-old only has a year remaining on his contract and is set to leave St James' Park this summer.
But Magpies' assistant boss John Carver expects to see him when pre-season training starts next Monday.
“As far as we are aware, Jose will be back on Monday and he will be getting a warm welcome like he always does,” he said.
“I know he will give us 100%, like he always does, and he wouldn't dream of letting anybody down.”