Liverpool target Cristian Zapata will shun interest from the Barclays Premier League and instead sign a deal with Villarreal reports skysports.com.
The 24-year-old Colombian international was the subject of a prospective bid from the Reds last month, only for Udinese to knock back the club's preliminary advances.
Kenny Dalglish is keen to strengthen his defensive department this summer, and was rumoured to be considering an offer to bring Zapata to Anfield ahead of the new season.
However, Liverpool's hopes have been dashed after the player has instead opted to sign a five-year deal with the Spanish outfit - the club that first declared an interest in Zapata's services.
"They were the first club to show an interest in him," Zapata's agent Jerome Barbadillo said when asked why he opted for Villarreal.
"He is very happy, but is now focused on the Copa America - but he is aware of everything."
The deal for Zapata is thought to be worth in the region of €7million plus the option of a player, meaning Liverpool will now have to turn their attention to alternative defensive options.
The Reds have been heavily linked with a move for Birmingham City's Scott Dann, but with the Anfield club unwilling to meet the Midlands outfit's £15million valuation, that deal now looks to be dead in the water as well.
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