Liverpool prepare swap deal for potential Torres partner

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Liverpool are being linked with a player-plus-cash move for Paraguayan international striker Lucas Barrios.

The Borussia Dortmund striker has been heavily linked with an Anfield move in recent weeks, and reports from the player's homeland suggest that Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is preparing a deal for the player.

Barrios began his career with Argentinos Juniors back in 2003, and played for seven clubs in south America before making the move to Europe and the Bundesliga.

Barrios has scored at a rate of over a goal every other game for the current German league leaders, leading to speculation that European clubs are keen to take the player away from Signal Iduna Park.

Liverpool are known to be in the market for a striker in January, with new owners NESV promising a transfer war chest in the region of £35 million to Hodgson as he looks to build his squad at Anfield.

The 26-year-old striker is thought to be at the top of the Reds wish list, with Hodgson seeing the striker as an ideal foil for Spanish star Fernando Torres at Liverpool.

Valued at around £12 million, Liverpool are thought to be considering a deal that includes either Ryan Babel or Milan Jovanovic as part-exchange once the window re-opens in 2011.

Liverpool scouts will continue to monitor the player's progress over the coming months, with a possible view to a formal approach at the first available opportunity.

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