(AFP) - Liverpool's build-up to Thursday's Europa League tie with FK Rabotnicki at Anfield has been overshadowed by questions about the club's ownership.
Liverpool will be expected to confirm their passage into the next stage in front of their own fans after two goals from David Ngog ensured them a comfortable victory in the first leg of the round three qualifier in Macedonia.
But the return leg is being staged against a backdrop of high level discussions about expected boardroom changes at the club in the coming weeks.
Chinese businessman Kenny Huang has indicated that he is willing to take on the 237 million pound debt from creditors Royal Bank of Scotland which would then enable him to negotiate a takeover deal from American co-owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks.
Those two, who have become increasingly derided during their near-disastrous three-year tenure at Anfield, will make the decision alongside the remainder of Liverpool's board, guided by chairman Martin Broughton, who has indicated that Huang's is one of several deals being considered.
"It still remains the objective to conclude a deal before the end of the transfer window," Broughton said.
"That remains the objective but there are no deadlines, and we will continue working to complete the process.
"Both George Gillett and Tom Hicks remain on the board and they have given commitments that the board of Kop Holdings (Liverpool's UK parent company) is the party that is responsible for the sale."
Liverpool did, though, receive a huge boost on Tuesday when Spanish international striker Fernando Torres pledged his future to the club.
The striker - who had amiserable World Cup on a personal level - returned to training on Monday following Spain's World Cup victory but is unlikely to feature against the Macedonian side as he recovers from a hamstring problem picked up during the World Cup final.
Torres ending the speculation about his future means the club's fans - already buoyed by the signing of former Chelsea winger Joe Cole - will have genuine optimism that they can succeed this season on all fronts.
Torres decision to stay comes on the back of their talismanic captain Steven Gerrard also agreeing to remain which pleased fellow Liverpudlian and vice-captain Jamie Carragher no end.
"For me he's (Gerrard) probably the best player in the history of the club, alongside Kenny Dalglish, so it's obviously going to give everyone a massive lift that Gerrard has decided to stay," said Carragher.
Carragher is also happy with the way that Cole has quickly settled into the Liverpool squad.
"He's not taken too long to settle in and he knows quite a lot of the lads from England," he added.
"He's a good lad too and he's staying right in the centre of Liverpool, so a lot of the fans have seen him around.
"He loves playing here and being at Liverpool.
"You like people to get involved with the city and he's doing that from an early stage."
The first leg was marred by alleged racist taunts from a small section of the Rabotnicki supporters who were disappointed that their players, including the impressive Martin Boginatov in goal and captain Nikola Gligorov, failed to stun the football world by beating the five-times European Cup holders.
UEFA claim to be aware of the chants emanating from the home side's fans and have pledged to investigate further once this tie is over.
Manager Zoran Stratev has no outstanding injury concerns ahead of the contest and is likely to pick the same side that lost last Thursday.
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson - who guided Fulham to the final of the competition last season - played a mainly second-string side for that encounter and is likely to adopt a similar approach again although Gerrard and Cole are set to feature at some point.
|Coach: R. Hodgson|
for S. Gerrard 62'
for M. Jovanović 67'
for Lucas Leiva 73'
|James seeks more game time at Madrid|
|Rooney: I want to be a manager|
|Mignolet welcomes Karius challenge in Liverpool number one battle|
|Batshuayi buoyed by winning vibes at Chelsea|
|Moyes and Sunderland players diverted after plane fault|
|´Loved´ Varane targets long Madrid stay|
|Kostic set for Hamburg medical|
|Leicester crying over Kante sale - Ranieri|
|Schurrle the perfect Mkhitaryan replacement - Tuchel|
|West Ham face anxious wait on Cresswell injury|
|Mourinho will accept criticism from United legends|
|Bertolacci desperate for fresh start after underwhelming first season at Milan|
|Hoops hand Toure one-year deal|
|Origi ready to fight for Liverpool spot|
|Emery wants PSG stay for ´fantastic´ Matuidi|
|No Barcelona offer for Vietto - Cerezo|
|Burnley apologise for racist abuse from supporter|
|Guardiola will not rush Kompany comeback|
|Of course I´ll shake Guardiola´s hand, snaps riled Mourinho|
|Watzke: No more signings for Dortmund|
|Roma expect Manolas to snub Premier League move|
|Adriano set to leave Barcelona for Besiktas|
|Manchester United in worst possible situation - Mourinho|
|Sporting would have to sell stadium to afford Van Persie - Jesus|
|Jonas´ agent confirms Barcelona approach|
|No problem with Mourinho, insists Guardiola ahead of derby in China|
|Toronto´s hat-trick hero Giovinco: I´m back|
|Drogba revels in ´special night´, dedicates hat-trick to family|
|MLS Review: Hat-tricks for Drogba and Giovinco as stars shine|
|Whelan backs Liverpool for top-four finish|
|Pellegrini still waiting for right offer|
|Ronaldo deserves to win Ballon d´Or - Vazquez|
|Phelan wants Hull job|
|Alaba saddened by Gotze exit|
|Morgan: Vardy right to re-sign|
|Maradona ´hurting´ as Higuain closes on Juventus move|
|Moyes watches Sunderland win, Ibe opens account in six-goal Bournemouth thriller|
|Messi cuts short holiday for Barcelona training camp|
|Ranieri still confident of keeping Mahrez|
|Toure to complete Celtic move on Sunday, says Rodgers|
|Vietto sends Simeone a reminder amid Barcelona links|
|Celtic 1 Leicester City 1 (5-6 on penalties): Mahrez magic the highlight as Ranieri´s side triumph i|
|Ribery, Alaba on target in Bayern win|
|Neymar hails Micale ahead of Olympic tilt|
|Ronaldo wants Real Madrid renewal|
|Ochoa joins Granada from Malaga|
|Heidel quashes Meyer to Liverpool as ´nonsense´|
|Scholes challenges Allardyce to change England mentality|
|Tenerife star Crosas investigated for killing endangered shark|
|De Gea: Manchester United can win title under Mourinho|
|Marseille replace Batshuayi with brother Leya Iseka|
|Cristiano Ronaldo: Best season of my career|
|Scholes: Pogba is not worth £100million|
|Gotze has not forgotten how to play football - Riedle|
|Delph learning more than ever under Guardiola|
|Jovetic ´not worried´ about Juventus|
|Allardyce wants Euro 2016 woes to fire his England|
|Giggs not in a rush to take manager´s job|
|Lopetegui: If not for Spain I would be Wolves boss|
|Shaw one of best left-backs in world - Herrera|
|Injured Sanchez to miss Arsenal tour|
|Melbourne Victory 1 Juventus 1 (Melbourne win 4-3 on pens): Thomas inspires Victory as Juve pay pena|
|Janssen: Ajax and PSV were never going to pay as much as Tottenham|
|Bayern to make Munich shooting tributes|
|Wenger wishes luck to old foe Allardyce|
|United defender Varela joins Frankfurt on loan|
|Sunderland appoint Moyes as Allardyce replacement|
|Javi Martinez devastated by Munich shootings|
|Rooney: I´m desperate to play for Mourinho, just like under Ferguson|
|Godin: Champions League the dream, but LaLiga the focus|
|Klopp hails Wijnaldum´s ´football smartness´|
|Klavan ready to fight for starting spot after completing ´dream´ Liverpool move|
|Real Salt Lake 1 San Jose Earthquakes 1: Mulholland salvages point|
|Madeira airport to be named after Cristiano Ronaldo|
|Villar, Ceferin and Van Praag announce UEFA presidential bid|
|Witsel has offers from England and Italy|
|Tuchel will bring out Gotze´s best - Watzke|
|Swansea confirm interest in Liverpool´s Allen|
|Arsenal´s Coquelin: LeBron v Curry is like Messi v Ronaldo|
|Rooney backs Allardyce appointment|
|Bayern and Ancelotti respond to Munich attacks|
|West Brom friendly cancelled over violence concerns|
|Allardyce ´cannot stop smiling´ after getting England job|
|Rakitic dismisses Barcelona exit talk|
|Oxlade-Chamberlain salvages draw for Arsenal in opening friendly|
|Bruce leaves Hull City by mutual consent|
|Juventus start Serie A title defence against Fiorentina|
|Guardiola already making impact at Manchester City - Clichy|
|Liverpool sign Netherlands international Wijnaldum|
|Ranieri: Chilwell, Ulloa going nowhere|
|Batshuayi: Conte already making me a better player|
|Allardyce determined to be the best - Davies|
|Wolfsburg sign Mayoral from Real Madrid|
|New coaches the attraction in USA/Europe Champions Cup zone|
|´It was like F1 v F3´ - Mourinho not making hasty judgments on United squad|
|Suarez would welcome Vietto with open arms at Barcelona|
|Glenn hails ´ideal candidate´ Allardyce|
|Juventus begin ICC campaign amid Pogba furore|
|Sunderland look to move forward after Allardyce departure|
|Kuyt backs Wijnaldum for Liverpool success|
|No major trophies, fewer goals than Moyes - the stats behind England boss Allardyce´s career|
|Hayden was wasting his career at Arsenal - Wenger|
|New recruits excite Aubameyang after United rout|
|Allardyce the right man to take England back to basics|
|Solve the Rooney puzzle and restore Sterling´s confidence: Five problems for Allardyce to solve|
|England appoint Allardyce as manager|
|Manchester United 1 Borussia Dortmund 4: Classy BVB hand Mourinho first defeat|
|James vows to stay at Real Madrid|
|Caught in a jam - Minnesota ´explain´ goalkeeper gaffe|
|Clarke nominated for FA chairman|
|Gazidis expects more Leicester-style Premier League triumphs|
|Arsenal snap up Bolton defender|
|Alex the Mann for Liverpool as veteran seals Anfield move|
|Dortmund sign Schurrle on five-year deal|
|Balotelli needs right opportunity - Raiola|
|Lukaku undergoes Lazio medical|
|Suarez: Messi better than Ronaldo by far|
|Allegri remains hopeful of Pogba Juve stay|
|Rakitic´s agent questions Barcelona midfield buys|
|Shearer: England players must respect Allardyce or walk|
|Raiola: I don´t give a damn if Pogba costs a world-record fee|
|Mazinho dreams of Thiago-Rafinha reunion at Barca|
|No heart, no gold says ex-Brazil striker Elber|
|There is space for Mata at United - Mourinho|
|Alonso: Guardiola needs time to improve City|
|Argentina approach Bauza to be coach|
|Inter still ´under construction´ - Ranocchia|
|Mourinho: Rooney will be an important player|
|Ganso prepared for the step up to European football|
|Dyke: Brexit could help England|
|Galatasaray confirm Lucas interest|
|Conte targets Champions League with Chelsea|
|Swansea style attracted new owners Kaplan and Levien|
|Mourinho not concerned if United fail to sign Pogba|
|Mourinho teased Ibrahimovic into United move|