Valencia appear to be closing in on a deal for reported Liverpool target Adil Rami.

There had been growing speculation in recent weeks that the Lille defender was set to join the Reds in January but, according to the Daily Mail, the 24-year-old is headed for La Liga.

This news will come as a blow for Roy Hodgson after he twice went to monitor Rami at close quarters on the recommendation of Liverpool director of football strategy Damien Comolli.

The Liverpool boss' first scouting mission was at Wembley where he viewed France the centre-back in action against England. This faultless performance led Hodgson to arrange a second trip to watch the Frenchman in Ligue 1 where he was sufficiently impressed again.

Liverpool are thought to be in the market for defensive reinforcements next month and - despite losing out on Rami - are thought to be keeping tabs on a number of potential targets.

Liverpool have had their fair share of defensive woes of late after were hit with the news that Anfield stalwart Jamie Carragher would be out of action for three months after dislocating his shoulder against Spurs last month.

Injury to Daniel Agger has also been a headache for Hodgson as the Liverpool boss has struggled to nail down a regular pair of starting centre-backs during his first season at Anfield.

However, despite the Carragher setback, Liverpool have received a boost with the news that Agger is set to return to the side for the festive period.

"Daniel Agger is also fit so there are only two players unavailable to me, one of whom is Jay Spearing who suffered a break to his ankle and is a month away," said Hodgson.

"Jamie Carragher (dislocated shoulder) is still nine weeks away from coming back, if we are to believe the doctors, but knowing Jamie it would not surprise me if those nine weeks became less than that."

Liverpool are still likely to add another defender or two to their ranks next month and have been linked with Birmingham star Scott Dann and France youngster Mamadou Sakho.

Hodgson is expected to be backed in his pursuit of reinforcements with upwards of £20 million by new Liverpool owners NESV come January 1.

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