Liverpool are being linked with a January move for Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland.
The former Irish international has found it difficult to settle at Villa Park under French manager Gerard Houllier, and the Metro reports that Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has targeted the player as someone who can strengthen the Reds in the centre of the park.
Ireland joined Villa as part of the deal that saw James Milner move to Eastlands, but his in-ability to secure a first team spot under the former Liverpool chief has led to speculation that he is to leave the Midlands.
Heavily linked with a move to Anfield last summer, the player remains on the radar of the Merseysiders despite the summer change in manager.
With a valuation in the region of £4.5 million thought to be placed on Ireland's head, Liverpool are more than capable of meeting the fee following the arrival of NESV as the club's new owners.
John W. Henry and his consortium are thought to have pledged a transfer war chest in the region of £35 million at the disposal of Hodgson, despite his Liverpool future currently being unclear.
The Reds chief is thought to have drawn up a shortlist of 'five or six' players to target this month, and whilst an attacking foil for Fernando Torres is believed to be the priority, Hodgson is also looking to strengthen in several key positions.
Keisuke Honda, Mamadou Sakho and Yann M'Vila are all midfielders linked with a Liverpool move in January, and it remains unclear as to which player the club will move for first.
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