Liverpool have joined Southampton in making Cardiff City defender Steven Caulker a top summer transfer target as Reds boss Brendan Rodgers prepares to spend a £60m summer warchest, according to the Daily Mail.
Caulker has impressed with Cardiff this season despite failing to prevent the Bluebirds sliding into the Championship, adding to the young England international's growing reputation as the country's best young defenders.
The 22-year-old was at pains to insist he would be prepared to stay in Wales and help Cardiff fight for promotion next season, but both Liverpool and Saints are aware of a relegation release clause in his contract and are considering landing the starlet in a cut-price summer switch.
Liverpool in particular have seen their shock title charge fall short thanks to defensive deficiencies when it really mattered most, forcing Rodgers to prioritise strengthening that area when the transfer window reopens.
Rodgers has £60m to play with ahead of a return to Champions League commitments next season and has now added Caulker to a shortlist of targets which also includes Southampton duo Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana.
Reds fans will be desperate to see a fantastic campaign lead to sustained success and not turn sour next season, but defensive reinforcements will be an absolute necessity if Liverpool are to successfully fight on two fronts with the same style and verve which has marked their return to prominence this season.