Liverpool striker Andy Carroll has been left out of the trip to Belarus for Thursday's Europa League qualifier against FC Gomel, despite being named in the squad.
The news comes amid persistent rumours linking him with a move to West Ham or Newcastle. West Ham had a loan bid accepted for Carroll - which would see them pay £2 million for a year and then seal him on a £16 million permanent deal in the summer - but he was initially unwilling to join the Hammers, as he wants to play in European competition.
Newcastle, who Carroll left for Liverpool at a cost of £35 million in January 2011, would fit the bill after their shock run to fifth in the Premier League last season - and they have let strikers Peter Lovenkrands and Leon Best leave in recent weeks.
However, the Hammers are not willing to give up just yet and have offered him £90,000-a-week over an eight year period, handing him a potential pay rise fron his £80,000-a-week salary at Anfield.
A West Ham insider told ESPN: "West Ham accept that they might only have a 25% chance, but the club have not given up."
Carroll's involvement against Gomel would not have meant he was ineligible for the main stage of the Europa League in the event he joined another club. The BBC suggests he is suffering with a slight groin strain.
New Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is said to be willing to let Carroll leave - ideally on a permanent basis - and is also without strikers Luis Suarez and Craig Bellamy, both of whom are on Olympic duty, for the match with Gomel.