Liverpool target Eljero Elia has admitted would rather join their bitter rivals Manchester United.

There had been growing speculation that the 24-year-old Dutchman could be on his way to Merseyside but it has now emerged he has his eyes set on a 'special' move to Manchester.

Elia told German publication Bild: "I have learned a lot in the Bundesliga. I am very grateful to the HSV.

"HSV is also a top team. But I would love to play for one of the special clubs such as Real Madrid, FC Barcelona or Manchester United."

However, the Hamburg winger may struggle to see his wish granted unless United make a formal bid for his services, but it is understood he is not currently on their radar.

This could pave the way for Liverpool to launch a bid, with a figure of £12 million touted as enough to land the Holland international.

A deal for Elia would represent quite a coup and would serve as evidence of Liverpool owners NESV staying true to their pledge to bring young talent to Anfield.

NESV are also thought to be keen to add some firepower to their ranks with Liverpool recently proving impotent in front of goal.

Liverpool have also been linked with Aston Villa winger Ashley Young and CSKA Moscow star Keisuke Honda in their pursuit of more goals in what is expected to be a busy January at Anfield.

However, any potential moves could hinge on whether Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson remains at Anfield as rumours continue to circulate that his brief tenure with the Reds is over.

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