Liverpool have been forced to open talks with the agent of Kiko Casilla after it became clear Manchester United have first option on Victor Valdes, reports the Daily Star.
Brendan Rodgers was keen on signing the former Barcelona goalkeeper as Simon Mignolet continued to cause concern as Anfield's first choice stopper. However, there were concerns over Valdes' fitness and a deal never materialised.
Louis van Gaal took advantage of Liverpool's hesitation and invited the free agent to train with the Manchester United team. It is understood that if Valdes can impress at Carrington, he will be offered a short term deal to supplement their goalkeeping options behind David de Gea.
Instead of continuing to pursue Valdes, Liverpool have opted to move onto an alternative target in Casilla. It is a clear sign that they have admitted defeat in the battle for Valdes, who is nearing a return to full fitness following a serious knee injury.
The same report claims that Liverpool have already held initial discussions with Casilla's agent to gauge the player's interest in making a move to Anfield. A January move remains on the cards.
- Victor Valdes watches Manchester United v Chelsea
- Victor Valdes passes Manchester United medical
- Louis van Gaal hints at Victor Valdes signing
Mignolet was impressive in his debut season for Liverpool but has failed to impress Rodgers thus far in this campaign. With the inexperienced Brad Jones filling in at No.2, Mignolet would have to be in dire straights to get dropped. However, Casilla would provide much sterner competition.
The Express claim that Liverpool indicated to Casilla's agent that he would be given a chance to install himself as the No.1 choice at Anfield should he join in January. However, Espanyol won't want to lose the 28-year-old on the cheap.
The likelihood is that Rodgers wants to keep Mignolet on his toes by providing him with some decent competition. Former goalkeeper Mark Bosnich told said to have a competitor breathing down his neck will push the Belgian to be better.
He told talkSPORT: "He hasn't had enough competition behind him.
"At the time, as a player, you don't enjoy having somebody breathing down your neck for your place. When you look back though, after your career has finished, you realise it contributes to you having the best form of your life.