This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Liverpool have been dealt a blow in their audacious bid to sign Barcelona striker David Villa on loan, with the Spanish club rejecting the move.
Villa has found himself out of favour at the Nou Camp this season having yet to complete 90 minutes in La Liga and there has been talk of a move away from the Catalan giants.
The Spanish international is believed to favour a move to the Premier League but despite Liverpool's interest, Barcelona are unwilling to allow the 31-year-old to leave on loan and are instead holding out for a lucrative transfer fee.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is in desperate need of bolstering his attacking options in January, with Luis Suarez the only recognised fit striker at the club, with Andy Carroll having been sent out on loan to West Ham and Fabio Borini recovering from a foot injury.
The Reds have already agreed a deal to bring Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge to Anfield at the turn of the year, but Rodgers is still keen to add to his forward line with an experienced striker capable of sharing the burden with in-form Suarez.
Both Chelsea and Arsenal are also thought to be keen on Villa, but a rumoured £16million price tag could prove a sticking point for a player already in his 30s.