Liverpool 'start negotiations' with €12 million World Cup 'genius'

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Liverpool have stepped up their interest in Japan star Keisuke Honda, and are reportedly in talks over a January move.

According to Japanese daily Sports Nippon, the Reds have commenced negotiations over the €12 million-rated playmaker with his current club CSKA Moscow.

Honda has built up quite a reputation thanks to his swashbuckling displays for Japan at the World Cup; some of which led Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to label the 24-year-old a 'genius'

"This Japansese team is based on a solid and collective defence in which everybody knows exactly what to do," Wenger told Eurosport.

"When they get the ball they can give it to Honda - and the magic starts.

"When they get that genius Honda playing up front, he has shown what a top class player he is. For me he's the best performer of the competition so far."

Arsenal have previously been linked with a move for Honda, however Liverpool have now emerged as favourites for his signature as they look to add to their attacking options in January.

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is keen to increase the potency of his attacking force at Anfield, which currently relies too heavily on Kop hero Fernando Torres - something that Hodgson readily admits.

Honda is also reportedly a target for AC Milan so, should Liverpool capture him, it would represent quite a coup for the Anfield club.

Hodgson is expected to have plenty of money to spend in January as he looks to bring new faces to Anfield in January with new Liverpool owners NESV prepared to back their manager in the transfer market.

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