Liverpool sent scouts to watch Manchester United target Ivan Rakitic during Sevilla's La Liga clash with Villarreal on Saturday, reports Sky Sports.
According to Spanish publication El Correo, the Croatian playmaker has attracted interest from a number of Premier League suitors, after turning in a series of impressive performances at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium.
Red Devils boss David Moyes is reportedly keen to bring Rakitic to Old Trafford, as he looks to strengthen his creative midfield options when the transfer window reopens in January.
However, Manchester United will now face competition from rivals Liverpool, after Brendan Rodgers sent representatives to run the rule over the 25-year-old at the weekend.
The Northern Irishman is also keen to add to his Anfield ranks at the turn of the year, to maintain Liverpool's impressive start to the 2013/14 campaign, and mount a serious title challenge next year.
Rakitic is under contract with Sevilla until 2015, so if Liverpool or Manchester United are serious about signing the attacking midfielder, then they'll have to meet his £34million release clause.
Sevilla chairman Pepe Castro confirmed: "We are negotiating a new contract with him and I doubt that we will reach an agreement. But in all cases, if someone is in a hurry with Ivan Rakitic, there is a clause of 40 million euros."