Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry has finally admitted they do want to bring Michael Owen back to Anfield.
Boss Rafael Benitez has been low-key on constant speculation linking the England striker with a return from Real Madrid after only 12 months.
Newcastle have agreed a club record deal of about £17m, but 25-year-old Owen prefers a move back to Liverpool.
"It's not a no or a yes - there has been plenty of speculation and we will see next week," said Parry.
And Parry is pleased that Owen has publicly stated his preference for a move to Liverpool, despite Newcastle's determined efforts to do a deal.
He said: "We are always encouraged when players say they want to join Liverpool."
And Parry also dismissed suggestions a deal was being inspired from inside Liverpool's boardroom rather than by manager Benitez.
He said: "I want to stress there has never been a split between us or Rafa about Michael or any other players."
Liverpool, having sold Milan Baros to Aston Villa for £6.5m, may attempt to make room for Owen by selling Djibril Cisse, with both Monaco and Marseille interested.
Newcastle had hoped to persuade Owen to sign, but he made it clear he only wanted to join on loan - if Liverpool did not make a move.
Chairman Freddy Shepherd gave Owen a deadline of Thursday to agree to move, but it appears he is doomed to failure.
"There is not much more we can do. We are waiting to hear from Owen and his adviser," Shepherd explained.
"But it has to happen today or it's not going to happen at all, and we will be speaking to Michael's people."
BBC Sport understands Liverpool are not willing to pay more than the £8m Real splashed out to land Owen last summer.
They are expected to reveal their hand after Friday's Super Cup game with CSKA Moscow on Friday but the player would have to take a pay cut to persuade Liverpool to do business.