Manchester United's hopes of signing Sergio Romero have suffered a serious blow following news that the Sampdoria goalkeeper is in talks over a January move to Liverpool.
According to The Express, the Argentina international was the subject of a failed Red Devils bid on summer transfer deadline day, and Louis van Gaal has continued to monitor his situation with a view to renewing his interest in the New Year.
However, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is eager to recruit a new Anfield custodian when the window reopens in 2015, and is lining up the 27-year-old to replace current No.1 Simon Mignolet.
The Belgium international has come into criticism following a disappointing start to the 2014/15 campaign, and made another high-profile error during the Reds' Champions League clash against Ludogorets on Wednesday.
After failing to hold a tame effort on goal that was taken from the edge of the box, Mignolet presented the Bulgarian minnows with a valuable opportunity to put themselves ahead, and in turn handed Liverpool a more difficult task of maintaining their participation in Europe's elite club competition.
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Defeat in Razgrad would've all but confirmed Liverpool's exit from the tournament and undoubtedly heaped additional pressure on Rodgers. But, thankfully for the Northern Irishman - and for Mignolet - the Premier League giants managed to fight their way back and secure a 2-2 draw which keeps their hopes of progression to the knockout stages alive heading into the final round of group games.
Romero's prospective arrival on Merseyside would certainly provide serious competition for the former Sunderland man, whose inconsistent form can be partly blamed on the lack of rivalry from any of Liverpool's other current goalkeepers.
Clearly Rodgers is aware of the situation, and that's why he has already approached the South American star's agent to sound out his interest in moving to Anfield before Manchester United make an offer of their own in the mid-season window.
Van Gaal's alleged plans to recruit Romero are puzzling to say the least, particularly given the fine form of David De Gea at Old Trafford this season. The only assumption that can be made is that current back-up Anders Lindegaard is angling for a move away, but it remains to be seen how keen the World Cup finalist would be to simply sit and warm the bench for the Red Devils.