Blackpool manager Michael Appleton has insisted that rumours linking Thomas Ince with a move to Liverpool are badly affecting his form.
The 20-year-old has been a target for the Reds for some time now, and the Premier League outfit are understood to have had a recent bid rejected for the midfielder.
Ince has failed to score in his last seven outings for the Seasiders, and Appleton believes that the speculation is having a negative impact on the player's displays.
"He's going through a little bit of an indifferent spell at the moment," said Appleton. "With all the speculation it is hard to get away from that. But he is coping really well.
"I know how difficult it can be sometimes when you've got the media constantly talking about the opportunity you might get elsewhere.
"Once it all settles down and the speculation fades away a little bit and he continues to play well for Blackpool I think his performances for Blackpool will pick up again."
Ince started his career as a youth player at Anfield before moving to Bloomfield Road in 2011.