Brendan Rodgers nearing the end of his time at Liverpool
The Brendan Rodgers era at Liverpool appears to be edging towards a conclusion as rumours swept through the football grapevine suggesting his tenure at Anfield is about to come to an end.
Wednesday night's agonising Capital One Cup penalty shoot-out win against Carlisle appears to have been the final straw for Liverpool's owners, who have done all they can to support Rodgers despite a lengthy run of woeful form for his team.
Reports suggest that both Carlo Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp were sounded out by Liverpool about taking over from the Irishman last summer, but the club opted to stick with Rodgers after both declared they were not ready for a swift return to the game after leaving Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.
Now it seems as if the two experienced tacticians would be open to succeeding the beleaguered Liverpool manager, who is scheduled to face the media on Friday after of his side's Premier League game against Aston Villa.
It may be that the result of the Villa game is no longer be crucial to Rodgers' future as even though the Anfield club will be forced to hand him around £10m if they sack him now, the depth of the crisis appears to have forced a change of direction with Liverpool's American owners.
Former Liverpool and Ireland defender Mark Lawrenson accepts the crisis engulfing Rodgers may now cost him his job, as he told the BBC that time has run out for the 42-year-old tactician.
"I don't like managers getting the sack because I think it is a really difficult job but he's not won for six games - apart from on penalties against a League Two side," stated Lawrenson.
"It's just not working at the moment but it is down to everybody. Players take a massive responsibility, but at the moment Liverpool have gone back to being a bit rudderless, characterless and seem to have lost their way.
"He's under pressure for his job because he has not won for six games and spent many millions in the transfer market in the summer.
"I don't think Rodgers can afford to lose any of his next three games. Aston Villa is massive and then we have the derby. It is a massive 10 days for him absolutely massive."
Despite Rodgers being installed as the first Premier League manager to lose his job this season, bookmakers were still taking money from punters convinced the Liverpool manager will soon be replaced.
The upcoming international break could be a natural point for Liverpool to make a change, with the availability of Klopp and Ancelotti seemingly hastening their mood to oust Rodgers.
Read the views of Liverpool goal scoring great John Aldridge on the plight of Rodgers in this weekend's Sunday World newspaper.