Liverpool & Arsenal face €13m 'genius' midfielder fight

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Liverpool and Arsenal face competition from Paris Saint-Germain in the race to sign Keisuke Honda, according to reports.

Japanese publication Sports Nippon is claiming that Carlo Ancelotti has made contact with CSKA Moscow over the 25-year-old's availability, and has tabled an opening offer of €13 million for the player.

The same publication is claiming that both the Gunners and Reds remain interested in the former Nagoya Grampus Eight starlet, who moved to Europe in 2008 with VVV-Venlo in Holland before making the switch to Russia the following year.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is a long-term admirer of the player, and went as far as to describe Honda a 'genius' during the World Cup in 2010.

"When they get the ball they can give it to Honda - and the magic starts. When they get that genius Honda playing up front, he had shown what a top class player he is," he commented on Eurosport.

Speculation continued over a possible move the following year, and on deadline day in the summer Honda's agent was forced to deny that an Arsenal move was imminent.

"Is it reported that Keisuke is in London? This is not true," said Kees Ploegsma when questioned on a move to the Emirates Stadium.

Ploegsma was again forced to deny that Arsenal were pursuing the player in December, but were he to move to north London, he would join Ryo Miyaichi within the ranks.

As for Liverpool, they are known to be in the market for players from Asia, with chief sponsors Standard Chartered urging the club to increase their marketability in the Far East.

Director of Football Damien Comolli has cited the continent as an 'untapped market' in the past, and Liverpool have already invited Chinese trialists to Anfield on more than one occasion in an effort to build blocks in the area in the future.

Reports in The Sunday Mirror in November, as cited by the International Business Times, claimed that Honda was back on the Liverpool radar after their pursuit of the player in the summer, and reports in Japan suggest the attacking midfielder remains of interest to Kenny Dalglish.

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