Standard Liege captain Steven Defour would reject Liverpool in favour of a move to Manchester United, a source close to the player has revealed.
The Belgium midfielder is reportedly being targeted by a number of top European clubs and has been tipped to move from Standard in January.
Manchester United have been heavily linked with the 22-year-old, and they are now expected to beat bitter north west rivals Liverpool to his signature as the player feels a move to Anfield would damage his chances of ever wearing the red of United.
“There are many big clubs interested in Steven but he does not want to play for Liverpool at this moment,” the source told Goal.com UK.
“For the last two years Manchester United has been his number one choice and if he plays for Liverpool he is unlikely to fulfil that dream because of the rivalry between the teams.
“He would love to play under [Sir Alex] Ferguson and there may not be another chance if his next move is not to Manchester.
“But both clubs are watching him very closely and he is flattered by all the interest and takes it seriously.”
The news will come as a blow to Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson who has revealed his hope that the club can once more compete in the transfer market alongside the biggest clubs in Europe.
However, Hodgson will recruit a number of new faces in January regardless as new Liverpool owners NESV look to back their manager with a substantial transfer kitty.