Liverpool reportedly pursued the signature of Wilfried Bony before formalising their interest in Rickie Lambert, but the Merseyside club were unwilling to meet the demands set by Swansea City to secure the acquisition of the Ivory Coast international.
Lambert is on the verge of completing an emotional transfer to Liverpool - the club he supported as a boy - after a fee was agreed with current club Southampton, and the striker will undergo a medical on Saturday before heading off on World Cup duty with England.
But, claims Goal.com, Bony was the player initially identified by Liverpool as an ideal recruit to provide support and competition for incumbent strikeforce Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. However, Swansea informed Liverpool that it would take an offer of £20 million to bring Bony to Anfield, which resulted in the club focusing their attention on the signing of Lambert.
Liverpool had their opening proposal of £4 million plus add ons rejected by Southampton, but a deal has now been struck. A transfer to Liverpool will represent a rapid rise for Lambert, 32, who fired Saints from League One to the Premier League in successive seasons.
Saints signed Lambert from Bristol Rovers - a team he was playing for in the lowest tier of the English league system only seven years ago.