Chelsea are poised to beat Liverpool in the race to sign highly-rated Partizan Belgrade striker Lazar Markovic, according to reports

The 17-year-old Serbian starlet has only made 16 appearances for the Crno-beli, but has impressed with six goals for the SuperLiga champions.

Having already represented his country and U17 and U19 level, clubs from across Europe have taken a keen interest in the talented teenager, with the Blues and Reds leading the charge from England.

And, reports in The Daily Mirror claim Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has stepped-up his interest in the player, sending his personal agents to the Stadion FK Partizan to secure the signing of the 5ft 9in forward.

With Avram Grant at the helm, Andre Villas-Boas’ side would appear to have an advantage in the battle for the signature, with the west London outfit ahead of Kenny Dalglish’s outfit in the battle for the young player’s signature.

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