Emre Can may have played his last game for Liverpool after it emerged that the midfielder’s back injury is worse than previously thought.
It had been hoped that the Germany international, 24, would return in time for the second leg of the Reds’ Champions League tie with Manchester City.
But according to the Mirror, Can is facing missing the World Cup as well as the rest of the club football season, with his current Anfield contract set to expire at the end of June.
Jurgen Klopp had initially thought Can would be fit for next week’s tie, even if he misses the Merseyside Derby on Saturday.
But the manager is facing a midfield crisis, with Jordan Henderson suspended and Adam Lallana still injured.
Added to that, Liverpool have injuries to Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Ragnar Klavan and star forward Mo Salah.
Despite featuring at left-back many times under Klopp’s tenure, James Milner is expected to remain in midfield.
But it is also likely Klopp could go with a weakened line-up in the early kick-off across Stanley Park at Goodison in the early Saturday kick-off.
He said initially that Can was “very close” to getting back to playing, but he could face the danger of being injured for the World Cup starting in June.
Joachim Low’s squad do have an embarrassment of riches in almost every position but he featured during World Cup qualification and the Confederations Cup last summer.
Can missed their thrilling 1-1 friendly draw with Spain and their defeat to Germany a fortnight ago with his hopes of being in Russia hanging by a thread.