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Liverpool face fight to sign 'new Messi'

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Liverpool appear to face stiff competition for the signing of South American starlet Juan Manuel Iturbe, with reports suggesting that two Italian sides are also vying for his services.

20-year-old Iturbe, who is currently on loan with Serie A newcomers Hellas Verona from Portuguese giants FC Porto, has been in impressive form at the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, delighting fans with a series of exciting attacking performances.

Such sparkling form appears to have attracted the attention of Liverpool, with Brendan Rodgers' Reds - who suffered a sizeable early blow in the title race on Saturday evening with a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Premier League leaders Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium - linked with a move for Iturbe earlier this week.

However, if the Merseysiders do indeed have serious designs on acquiring the Argentine-born playmaker - who the Daily Express, among others, have dubbed as the 'new Lionel Messi' - then they could face a considerable battle.

According to talkSPORT, the Reds are set to fight both Inter Milan and Verona themselves for Iturbe, who is available to be purchased by Andrea Mandorlini's men for a fee of approximately £11.75 million following the climax of the current campaign as per his loan agreement.

However, with doubts appearing to surround the club's capabilities to match such a seemingly extravagant fee, it appears as if the Italians may seek to split his ownership rights instead, with Walter Mazzari's side seeming the most likely candidate. 

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