Liverpool face a free transfer battle with Roma over defender Modibo Diakite, according to reports.

TalkSPORT claims Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has set his sights on the talented 26-year-old, whose contract with Lazio is set to expire at the end of the season.

And, after negotiations over a move to Napoli broke down, Diakite once again appears to be available to clubs in the summer.

Liverpool are set for a defender crisis at the end of the season, with Jamie Carragher retiring and Sebastian Coates yet to find top form at Anfield.

Rodgers ‘is desperate’ to add some competition to Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger on Merseyside, according to the radio station, and the former Pescara starlet would fit the bill.

However, Roma chief Aurelio Andreazzoli has also targeted the centre half in a move that would cause major controversy in the Eternal City.

It will be up to Liverpool to persuade the player that his future is best served in the Premier League, rather than Serie ‘A’ where he currently plies his trade.

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