Liverpool set to undercut Everton in race for France ace

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Liverpool have emerged as favourites to sign France defender Rod Fanni.

According to The Mirror, the highly-rated Rennes right-back has been earmarked by Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson as a replacement for Glen Johnson, who allegedly wants out of Anfield.

The 28-year-old was being tracked by Everton as early as January, with David Moyes reportedly sending scouts to monitor the highly-rated Frenchman.

However, Liverpool have since been installed as the frontrunners for Fanni's signature, and he admits that the Premier League is likely to be his destination sooner rather than later.

"If I leave Rennes, my priority is to go to England," Fanni said during the summer.

"I know some scouts have seen me this season but personally I have not received any offer yet."

Hodgson is understood to be able to bring Fanni to Anfield for as little as £3 million in January as he looks to invest in a squad short of quality options.

It has been widely reported in recent weeks that Liverpool owners NESV would hand Hodgson £30 million to spend in the New Year, but it is looking increasingly unlikely that big-bucks will be blown on new Anfield recruits.

"The club has gone through a very difficult period, and the period has not ended," Liverpool's principal owner John W. Henry told fans' group Red And White Kop.

"We have work to do, and we must invest in this club to improve it on the field. Can that be successfully done in January? A number of people I’ve talked with doubt it."

It now seems more likely that Hodgson will have to set his sights on players with a lesser price-tag than the likes of Fernando Llorente and Oscar Cardozo as he looks to take Liverpool into the Champions League once more.

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