Liverpool have lost out in the race to sign highly-rated Columbian defender, Cristian Zapata.
Udinese today confirmed the sale of the 24-year-old to Spanish club Villarreal. A club statement read: "Udinese announces it has sold the sporting rights of Colombian defender Cristian Zapata to Villarreal.
"We wish to thank the player for his professionalism during his six years at the club and we wish him the best of luck in the future."
Zapata had only one year remaining on his current contract, and had made it clear that he had no intention of signing fresh terms with the Italian outfit. amidst interest from Liverpool in England and a host of clubs across Europe.
The centre-back had been linked with a move to Anfield as reinforcement to the club's ageing back line ahead of the new season, whilst Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was also thought to be keen on Zapata.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish will now have to concentrate on other reported defensive targets, such as Scott Dann, who has been linked with a £12 million move to Merseyside already this summer.
With money to spend from owners FSG and a player in the position still a priority, the Liverpool boss will have plenty of additional targets in the pipeline as the Scot looks to increase competition for Jamie Carragher, Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger.