Udinese have beaten Liverpool to the signing of young Uruguayan striker Nicolas Lopez, with the player leaving Roma for Udinese in a deal that sees Mehdi Benatia travel in the opposite direction.

Benatia has signed a five-year contract with Roma after three impressive seasons with Udinese, with the total cost of the deal agreed between the clubs reported to be around €13.5 million.

Roma have confirmed they have allowed Lopez and midfielder Valerio Verre to move to the Stadio Friuli to sweeten the deal for Udinese, despite the apparent interest of Liverpool in the former.

According to SportsDirect News, Liverpool had been pursuing the 19-year-old Uruguay under-20 international, who has been likened to current Anfield star and compatriot Luis Suarez.

Along with losing out on the 'new Luis Suarez', Liverpool are also set to struggle to maintain the services of the original, with the player outlining his ambition to leave the club before the transfer deadline.

Suarez has grown tired of his treatment by the English officials and media, and has revealed his hope of leaving Liverpool over the summer months, although Brendan Rodgers remains hopeful the 26-year-old will stay with the club.

Arsenal and Chelsea have been linked with Suarez, with the Gunners even reported to have made an offer in the region of £30 million in a bid to bring the former Ajax captain to the Emirates Stadium.

Real Madrid have also been credited with interest in Suarez, and a transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu would appear to be the most likely outcome for the Liverpool forward.

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