Kenny Dalglish claims there is a 'distinct possibility' Alberto Aquilani could return to play for Liverpool next season.

The Italy midfielder was brought to Anfield by Rafael Benitez in 2009 but after an injury-ravaged first season was loaned back to Serie A.

He has enjoyed an impressive campaign with Juventus, managing 33 appearances and getting back into international contention.

And Dalglish told his pre-match press conference: "There's a distinct possibility he could be back here. He's a quality player. He got off to a bad start here with his injuries and never really got going after missing pre-season.

"He went out on loan and has done very well over there.

"If he was to come back here, for me that would be like a new face coming in. I don't know of any deadline, I wasn't privy to the conversations that were had. "

Click the image below to watch Kenny's pre-match press conference

Liverpool loaned several players out this season including the likes of Daniel Ayala and Daniel Pacheco - though discussions have yet to take place regarding the future of those who've been away.

"We've got to assess what we need, and that includes the players who have been out on loan," added Dalglish. "They'll assess where they've been and the other clubs will assess them.

"Alberto is the highest profile but we've got decisions to make on (all) those players.

"We've not had time to sit down and discuss the players who have been out on loan apart from Alberto."

Meanwhile, Dalglish thinks comings and goings are inevitable at Melwood this summer - but he has strict criteria about adding players to his squad list.

"The people we'll be looking at are of the highest calibre, because the players here have done really well since January," said the boss. "It would be disrespectful to them not to look at players who are high calibre.

"We've had a great end to the season. There will be lots of work done in the close season and we'll take it from there. Movement is part and parcel of a football club in the summer. We'll be no different.

"Although it might affect them, players themselves expect new faces to come in and give the place a lift. It'll happen and they know it'll happen.

"We've had a lift from our own young players coming in and freshening it up a bit.

"If we get some quality people in to go along with the people already here, that will help everyone. It always helps to freshen up the dressing room.

"But if we're bringing anyone in they've got to be better than what we've got - and that's going to be a big ask."

Dalglish admits some of the performances he has witnessed since returning to the dugout on January 8 have surpassed his expectations - a fact that will affect his thinking when it comes to signing cheques this summer.

"When you're on the outside you don't always see the effort and commitment they have," he said. "I've noticed that since I've come in.

"I had no pre-conceived ideas. You have an opinion but it's not definitive.

"A lot of the performances have exceeded what I thought we were capable of. That's a great compliment to them, or maybe I'm just thick and didn't appreciate what we had here!"

Meanwhile, reporters wanted to know how helpful signing a three-year deal has been for Dalglish in preparing for next season.

The Scot responded: "I wouldn't say it's been a great help - played one, lost one!

"For me, the planning was going on anyway, irrespective of who was coming in because you can't leave it until the last minute. For training and some of the pre-season matches, planning had to be done.  If you're sitting in this chair you've got to make the decision about what you want to do and when you want to train.

"Regarding players, there's only one person who can decide that, and that's the manager. That's something we need to get our skates on with to make sure we get the right players."