Rennes captain Kader Mangane will become the subject of a summer transfer tussle between Liverpool and Aston Villa according to sport.co.uk.
The 28-year-old Ligue 1 star has established himself at the heart of the French outfit's defence since his 2008 move from Lens.
His commanding displays have been rewarded with the captain's armband in recent months, with his fine form attracting the interest of a number of potential suitors.
With Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish looking to strengthen his defensive department, the Reds boss wants to add a natural leader to his squad and has earmarked Mangane for a move to Anfield.
Currently contracted to Rennes until 2012, Mangane has made his intentions quite clear by stating his dream is to test himself in the Barclays Premier League.
Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli has strong links to the French domestic league, and is thought to have utilised his contacts in a bid to gain comprehensive scouting reports on Dalglish's prospective target.
Having made 22 appearances for Rennes this season, Mangane has been one of the standout performers in Ligue 1 this campaign.
The Senegalese international is now hoping to capitalise on his fine form this year, and use it as a platform to move on to greater things.
If Liverpool step up their interest in Mangane they will likely face competition from Villa, with former Anfield boss Gerard Houllier also rumoured to be monitoring the player's situation.
He is also keen to bring a defender to Villa Park, as a potential replacement for James Collins who, ironically has also been linked with a summer move to Liverpool.