Liverpool target £18m EPL ace to fill problem position

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Liverpool are being linked with a surprise move for Chelsea's Yuri Zhirkov.

The Russian has found regular first team opportunities hard to come by since his £18 million switch from CSKA Moscow in 2009 and is now reportedly ready to consider his options in the summer.

Metro reports that Liverpool are preparing to bid for the 27-year-old - should he become surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge - as they pursue defensive reinforcements.

Zhirkov can ably fill either left-back or left-wing role and the former as an area of their current side that Liverpool are keen to address when the transfer window reopens.

Despite favouring the right-side of defence, Liverpool are currently deploying Glen Johnson in the less familiar left-back role and the Anfield club appear to be actively searching for a more long-term solution.

The acquisition of Paul Konchesky by the previous Liverpool regime can fairly be deemed a failure and his subsequent loan move to Nottingham Forest has left the Reds short at full-back.

Fabio Aurelio seems to have fallen out of favour with Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish and the Reds have been linked with a wide array of players who could potentially fill the problematic position.

And, should Liverpool decide to register their interest in the versatile Zhirkov, then the Russia international may be open to a move in order to find more consistent football.

"My only target at the moment is to get back into the main Chelsea team," he told the Sun.

"If I'm successful with that, all the other issues will resolve themselves.

"But if I fail to achieve that between now and the summer, I will start thinking of other possibilities."

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