Liverpool strategy director fights ex-Anfield boss for wing wizard

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Liverpool face competition from Aston Villa in the race to sign Swiss international Valentin Stocker.

The FC Basel winger has been linked with a string of clubs following an impressive start to the season, and Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson thought to be one of those considering a move for the player.

Director of Football strategy at Anfield, Damien Comolli, has reportedly recommended the player to the Reds chief, with the club reportedly considering a move in the region of £4 million.

However, former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier has now joined the chase for the player, with the Villains boss looking hoping to land the player in the early stages of the New Year.

Liverpool are stil thought to be in pole position to land the player after the player's agent, Marco Balmelli, confirmed informal talks last month.

"Liverpool? Yes, with the English club I have had contact. How much? Five to six million euro," Balmelli told TMW.

A free-scoring flyer, Stocker has scored three goals in just seven international appearances, and has a decent scoring record for his club.

It his ability to both create and score that has caught the eye of Premier League clubs, and Liverpool have earmarked part of their transfer budget for the player.

New owners NESV have promised a war chest in the region of £35 million, and Liverpool are thought to have the finances to out-bid Villa should they be drawn into a transfer battle.

Whilst Hodgson has targeted an attacking foil for Fernando Torres as the priority in January, a wish list of 'five or six' players is thought to have been drawn up at Liverpool, and Stocker could be on the list.

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