Liverpool have told Southampton they won't be loaning out Neco Williams due to his first-team commitments at Anfield, after the south coast side made a late bid to take him to St Mary's for the second half of the season.
The 19-year-old hasn't played for the Reds since the FA Cup victory against Aston Villa on 8 January, but he has made 11 appearances in total this season and is a regular in their matchday squad. Outside of Trent Alexander-Arnold, he is the only natural right-back available to Jurgen Klopp, who sees a big future for him at Liverpool.
Southampton have been on the hunt to secure some cover at right-back throughout deadline day, and look set to lose out on Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who is expected to sign for West Brom until the end of the season.
They have also been linked with Brandon Williams and Japhet Tanganga, but have met resistance on all fronts. According to Sky Sports' Transfer Centre, they tried their luck with Williams, but were told no by Liverpool, who view him as indispensable cover for Alexander-Arnold.
The Reds have used deadline day to solve their own defensive personnel problems, signing Ben Davies from Preston with Schalke's Ozan Kabak expected to follow, and don't want to create another issue for themselves by sending out Williams, which would leave them short if Alexander-Arnold was to suffer an injury.
That would require James Milner, who has re-asserted his worth in a midfield role recently, to cover at right-back.
Williams earned a Premier League winners' medal last season with a run of appearances post-lockdown, as he covered for Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson on both sides of the back four. There have been critics of his performances at times, but he is viewed as a player with a big future, while also having the ability to step in for the short-term if called upon.
In total, he has made 22 appearances for the first-team at Anfield, and will be hopeful of adding to that between now and May.