"Unless Italy is formerly applying for a precautionary credit line, what's happening in Italy now does not have any implication for ECB policy," said Anna Maria Grimaldi, European economist at Intesa Sanpaolo.
(Read more: Italy faces new elections and economic turmoil, analysts warn)
Tools on the shelf
Expectations for another round of ultra-cheap long-term funding grew last week after Draghi said the ECB was paying close attention to the lower level of additional funds in the banking system and that it was ready to act if needed.
Other ECB policymakers were more equivocal but the fact is that excess liquidity has fallen to 208 billion euros from more than 800 billion early last year, approaching a level expected to push market rates closer to the main refinancing rate.
In a Reuters poll, 42 of 56 economists said they expected a another LTRO, possibly by the end of the year. The ECB funneled over a trillion euros to banks with twin three-year liquidity operations in late 2011 and early 2012.
(Read more: More cheap loans for Europe's banks?)
"We think there is a pretty high likelihood that we see another LTRO by the end of the year," said Goldman Sachs chief European economist Huw Pill, who previously worked at the ECB.
"The beauty of the LTRO is that there are many reasons that speak in favour of it, it can build a coalition on the Council. Other possible measures would be more difficult to agree on."
Another LTRO could aim to raise excess liquidity, ease banks' funding situation ahead of the ECB's asset quality review next year, increase the ECB's support for smaller companies by accepting collateral that favours these companies and it could strengthen the ECB's forward guidance by tying it to low rates.
Other policy tools, such as cutting the main refinancing rate to 0.25 percent, reducing the reserve ratio banks have to hold at the ECB to zero thereby freeing up another 100 billion euros, or no longer taking the money the ECB pumped into the market via its first bond purchase program out on a weekly basis would each have a more limited impact.
"We are not sure the ECB has entirely decided what to aim for yet and, importantly, money market rates have declined significantly since the last meeting," JP Morgan economist Greg Fuzesi said.
The forward rate which shows where one-year Eonia rates are seen in a year's time, has fallen to levels last seen in July when the ECB launched its forward guidance.