Liverpool are ready to hijack a move for Marcelo Brozovic as Arsenal continue to haggle with Dinamo Zagreb over a fee for the highly-rated midfielder.
According to the Daily Star, the Gunners have had a £5 million bid turned down for the Croatia international, as his current employers hold out for closer to £8 million.
However, Arsene Wenger's reluctance to raise his offer by £3 million has paved way for Brendan Rodgers to steal the 22-year-old's signature.
The Reds are also on the lookout for reinforcements during the January transfer window, and might be more willing to meet Dinamo Zagreb's valuation given their current predicament in the Premier League.
The Anfield club have been hugely disappointing during the first half of the 2014/15 campaign, and currently find themselves down in eighth place in the table with 28 points from their opening 19 games.
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The departure of star striker Luis Suarez has had a hugely negative impact on a Liverpool side that ran Manchester City very close to the Premier League title last season, but the prospective arrival of Brozovic could go some way to improving the Merseyside outfit's fortunes in the New Year.
Arsenal have also struggled at times this term, but despite their indifferent form find themselves in fifth spot - just outside the Champions League places - so their demand for the Croatian schemer is perhaps not quite as urgent.
Wenger has made a defensive midfielder his number one priority in the mid-season window, but it looks as though the French tactician will have to turn to alternative options if Dinamo Zagreb refuse to budge on their valuation.
Everton and Tottenham Hotspur have also been mooted as admirers of Brozovic - who starred for his country at the World Cup in Brazil during the summer - so it's unlikely that Zoran Mamic will need to cash-in at a reduced price, and can sell to the highest bidder.