Sky Sports sources understand Aston Villa have ended their interest in Clint Dempsey as the Fulham attacker wants to join Liverpool.
Villa had a £7million bid accepted by Fulham earlier on Friday morning as they tried to plot a sensational deadline swoop for the attacker.
Liverpool have been stalking the United States international for the majority of the close season and Anfield appears to be his likely destination.
It is understood that his preference for a move to Liverpool has prompted Villa to call off their pursuit of Dempsey.
Sunderland, however, are still maintaining their interest in the attacker who has scored 50 goals for the Cottagers in 184 league games.
Dempsey signed for the West London side in 2007 for £1.5million from the New England Revolution and has gone on to become one of the best attacking midfielders in the Premier League.