Liverpool target Asian sensation after agent confirms interest

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Liverpool have reportedly joined the race to sign Japanese international playmaker Keisuke Honda.

The versatile CSKA Moscow player, who is comfortable in wing or striking positions, is thought to be considering a Russian Premier League exit with Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson one of the managers thought to be keen.

After starting his career as a teenager at Grampus Eight, Honda moved to Dutch side VVV-Venlo in January 2008. After two years with the Eredivisie club, CSKA made their move for the player, securing his services for an undisclosed fee.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was heavily linked with the player in the summer after a series of complimentary comments during the World Cup, but Liverpool have now joined the chase for the player.

Player agent Kees Ploegsma told "When a big club comes in he will want to leave but at the moment that has not happened.

"A lot of managers will be watching him after he played so well at the World Cup - now they can watch him more for CSKA and hopefully they will decide to try and do something in January."

CSKA are reportedly considering cashing in on the player, and Liverpool are set to challenge AC Milan and the Gunners for the player's signature.

The Reds are keen to strengthen their side during the transfer window, with new owners NESV promising the Liverpool boss a transfer war chest in the region of £35 million.

Hodgson is thought to have highlighted 'five or six' players as potential signings in the opening month of 2011, and Honda is thought to be on the Liverpool shortlist.

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