Jürgen Klopp has refused to rule out Lazar Markovic having a future at Liverpool although the winger signed for fellow Premier League outfit Hull City on loan earlier this week.
The Serbian winger, who joined the club from Benfica for £20 million in the summer of 2014, had been on loan at Sporting CP - only for the Portuguese outfit to cut his stay short.
Despite a shortage of options out wide, the Reds opted to send Markovic out on a temporary deal again - this time to another club in England as the 22-year-old looks to impress and potentially rescue a career on Merseyside.
'Why should I rule out any future at the club for Markovic?'
Talking ahead of Liverpool's FA Cup fourth-round clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, Klopp said: "He's still contracted [to Liverpool] so why should I say no, no chance for Lazar Markovic?"
The German joked that Markovic - who scored three goals in 34 appearances in all competitions in his first season at Anfield but started just eight league games - "has no future" at the club "if he plays very good against us."
"But if he [plays] all the other games really then why not?" said Klopp, leaving the door open for the Reds' No.50 - whose last Liverpool appearance came as a late cameo from the bench in a league win against Queens Park Rangers in May 2015.
His late start came in the club's abysmal FA Cup semi-final defeat to a struggling Aston Villa side at Wembley, when he was hooked at half-time after a poor performance in a wing-back role that he played much of his minutes throughout that campaign.
He played a role in pre-season last summer under Klopp, but failed to make enough of an impression to warrant a spot in his squad for the current season.
Markovic, who has also spent time out on loan at Fenerbahce as well as Sporting, has so far failed to prove himself worthy of the price tag - be it in England or elsewhere - that Liverpool paid for him under previous manager Brendan Rodgers.
But Klopp declared that the wide-man is "still a young boy" and that he has "struggled because of a few injuries in the wrong moment", adding: "If he can stay fit and help out then, for us, it's easier to [monitor his progress] than in Portugal."
One present journalist reminded Klopp that, due to Premier League rules, Markovic won't be allowed to face his parent club when Liverpool face Hull at the KCOM Stadium on February 4.
The Reds boss responded: "Is it always like this? In Germany, if you are on loan, then you can play [against whoever]. Well, if he can't play against us then he has a future!"