Liverpool fear they will be priced out of a move for Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, but are hoping to convince him to agitate his way out of Camp Nou, reports the Mirror.
Jurgen Klopp is looking to sign a genuine challenger to Simon Mignolet in the January transfer window and has also been linked with Stoke City's Jack Butland. But Butland's homegrown status means he is likely to come at a premium making Ter Stegen his top choice.
Mignolet has come in for a large amount of criticism for his inconsistent performances this season while the clubs' No.2, Adam Bogdan, failed to convince in a recent outing against Watford.
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Ter Stegen, 23, signed for £10million from Borussia Moenchengladbach in 2014, is highly rated at Barcelona, but has continued to play understudy to Claudio Bravo.
He was, however, granted first-choice status in both the Champions League and the Copa del Rey last season, helping the Catalan club to win them both.
The young German is now demanding an outright No.1 position and has grown unsettled by Luis Enrique's continued reluctance to give him a chance in La Liga ahead of Bravo.
Dragging the price down
As a result, he is ready to leave and linking up with Klopp at Anfield appears to be an attractive proposition, but Barcelona's valuation of £20m is proving problematic for Liverpool's transfer committee, who are not willing to pay more than £12m.
Their hope is that Ter Stegen will make his wish to leave clear to Nou Camp chiefs and drag the asking price down as a result. However, the young shot-stopper is tied to a long-term contract meaning Barcelona are under little pressure to sell.