Liverpool suffer big blow in €17 million Ligue 1 double swoop

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Liverpool won't be raiding St Etienne, says the Merseysiders' director of football strategy Damien Comolli.

There has been growing speculation in recent weeks that Comolli - former director of football with St Etienne - was set to swoop for highly regarded pair Blaise Matuidi and Dimitri Payet, however it now appears that any potential deal won't come to fruition.

Comolli was employed by new Liverpool owners NESV shortly after their takeover and has been tasked with bringing Europe's top young talent to Anfield.

The Frenchman had reportedly identified Payet and Matuidi two players who fulfilled that category but he now admits he is unlikely to raid his former club and 'destabilise' them.

"I feel like a new person at Liverpool," Comolli told L'Equipe.

"It makes a nice change to have some clarity from the shareholders. On a daily basis my work has become a lot easier.

"I would like to point out, though, that I told coach Christophe Galtier that I will not destabilise his changing room. I have made no contact with any St Etienne player.

"Why did I resign? Because I didn't feel on the same wavelength as the club anymore.

"I reached a point where there was no project left. Until the end of the summer market everyone let me work on my own and they were pleased with my efforts.

"Then, the relationship deteriorated. We promised to stay together until the end of the season, but I couldn't stand it anymore."

NESV have identified the development of young players at their Academy as a priority - and Comolli is already putting plans in action to draft precocious youngsters to Liverpool.

Comolli is renowned for having an eye for talent in its infancy - something which Liverpool Academy director Frank McParland paid testament to.

"His [Comolli's] philosophy is to bring through young talent and he's since told me that we will be seeing a lot of him here at the Academy," he told the official Liverpool website.

"That can only be good news for us. He has a strong interest in young, elite players and we are already in the process of looking to sign some very talented teenagers.

"He has a great network in Europe and when you combine that with what we already have in place here, it promises to be very exciting times for us."

Despite seemingly missing out on Matuidi and Payet, Liverpool are thought to be in the race for Belgian sensation Eden Hazard and CSKA Moscow star Keisuke Honda.

Both would certainly provide Liverpool with the added potency they so crave in the pursuit of the much coveted Champions League places.

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