Liverpool facing £25m battle to land 'next Ronaldo'

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Liverpool are facing stiff competition from Chelsea in the race to sign Chilean international Alexis Sanchez.

The Udinese star has been monitored by a string of top European clubs in recent seasons, with Liverpool one of those keen to bring the player to the Barclays Premier League.

Former Reds boss Rafael Benitez was keen to bring the player to Anfield as recently as May, and his Liverpool replacement Roy Hodgson was also thought be interested in bringing the player to Merseyside before his recent departure.

Real Madrid, Lyon and Manchester United are also thought to be interested in signing the player, but Chelsea now appear to be leading the race for the 22-year-old, according to the Metro.

Udinese owner Giampaolo Pozzo has revealed that the Blues are in talks with the club over a move for the player, who has previously been dubbed 'the new Ronaldo'.

"With Chelsea we talked about €30million. I want this figure, if not more. It is useless to talk about something we do not want to do because we cannot remove someone from the team when we're halfway through a season," Pozzo told Sky Italia.

Sanchez has the ability to play on either flank, and the former River Plate loanee shot to prominence after braking into the Chilean national team as a teenager.

It's unknown if new Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has taken an interest in the player, but the Merseysiders are keen to add attacking flair to their outfit in the current transfer window.

New owners NESV have pledged a transfer war chest in the region of £35 million, money which Liverpool could invest in a playmaker like Sanchez should director of football Damien Comolli give the nod over a move for the player.

Competition would be fierce to take the player from the zebrette should Liverpool decide to make their move, but others are likely to join should the interest become more fierce.

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