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Liverpool still favourites for World Cup star despite being rebuffed

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The agent of Japan star Keisuke Honda has claimed Liverpool have yet to bid for his client.

Speculation has been mounting that the Reds were set to seal a deal for the €12 million-rated CSKA Moscow playmaker after Japanese daily Sports Nippon claimed the two clubs were in negotiations.

However, Honda's representative, Kees Ploegsma, rebuffed reports - saying there has been no approach from Liverpool, or any club for that matter.

"There is nothing, these are just rumours," Ploegsma told calciomercato.it.

"The situation is quiet. To date, there is no offer for Keisuke from Liverpool, nor from other teams.

"The player has a contract with CSKA Moscow (until 2013) and is now on vacation."

Ploegsma was also asked about alleged interest from Arsenal and AC Milan, to which he replied: "They are all great clubs but, I repeat, we are not in contact with anyone."

Honda has been much sought after since his sensational performances at the World Cup showcased his talents to a global audience.

His displays led to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger labelling him a 'genius' and, hence, the Gunners have reportedly been monitoring his progress.

However, Liverpool are still thought to be favourites for the 24-year-old as the Anfield club look to add more goalscoring options to his squad 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.

Should Liverpool manage to sign Honda, it would represent quite a coup for the Anfield club as new Liverpool owners NESV look to transform fortunes on Merseyside.

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

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