Liverpool talk to Sochaux ace

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Sochaux star Ryad Boudebouz has held discussions with Liverpool over a move to Anfield, according to the Liverpool Echo.

The Algerian international played against England at the 2010 World Cup, and has been strongly linked with the Reds, but several sides are thought to be interested.

The 22-year-old came through the Sochaux academy and featured heavily as the French side finished 14th in Ligue 1 this season.

But Boudebouz could be about to move on, and with interest from a number of other Ligue 1 sides, Liverpool may face stiff competition when it comes to sealing the signing.

Uncertainty surrounding the managerial hot seat at Anfield may also hinder negotiations, which reportedly remain at a very early stage.

"Certainly, my agent is in talks with some clubs, particularly in France, but there is still nothing concrete," said Boudebouz.

"There is also Liverpool, who have initiated discussions with my agent, but at the risk of repeating myself, everything is in the discussion stage, no more."

The attacking midfielder won the Young African Player of the Year award in 2010, and is highly rated in Ligue 1. A French youth international up until the under-19 age bracket, Boudebouz made the switch to Algeria in 2010, just in time for the World Cup.

But after Sochaux's disappointing league finish, the creative midfielder is prepared to move on, and with preliminary discussions under way, Liverpool look to be in pole position to secure his signature.

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