Liverpool have been dealt a transfer blow with the news that France under-20 international Kurt Zouma will remain with AS Saint-Etienne for the forthcoming season.
Reds chief Brendan Rodgers is reportedly on the lookout for defensive reinforcements, and had lined up a move for Ligue 1 starlet Zouma as Liverpool's transfer policy of signing up and coming talents shows no signs of slowing.
The 18-year-old has received plaudits from far and wide for his impressive displays in the French first division with AS Saint-Etienne, having broken into the first-team back in the 2011/12 season.
Liverpool are not alone in their pursuit however, as Atletico Madrid and Anzhi Makhachkala are reportedly ready to battle the Anfield giants for the player's signature.
However, despite being wanted by some of Europe's elite, Zouma's head remains unturned and he insists he is fully committed to his current employers.
Speaking to Le Progres, he said: "There was a lot of noise this summer about a transfer for me.
"I can only say one thing - I will be at Saint-Etienne this season, for sure."
Liverpool are likely to step up their attempts to sign a defender, as speculation continues to surround the future of Reds duo Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel, who have been targeted by Barcelona and Napoli respectively.