Liverpool scout £16m United defender target

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Liverpool sent scouts to run the rule over Torino centre-back - and reported Manchester United target - Angelo Ogbonna, at the weekend clash against Cagliari, according to Italian newspaper Tuttosport.

The 24-year-old has attracted interest from a host of top European clubs, and has been heavily linked with a move away from Serie A, even after the club's sporting director Gianluca Petrachi slapped a £16million price-tag on the defender.

Manchester United were rumoured to be monitoring Ogbonna's progress, with Sir Alex Ferguson keen to strengthen his back line. However, his plans to bring the Italian international to Old Trafford in January may be thwarted by the advances of Premier League rivals Liverpool.

With Brendan Rodgers also keen for defensive additions, Anfield scouts were deployed to take a closer look at Ogbonna, with a view to making an offer for his services when the transfer window reopens in the New Year.

When recently questioned about reported interest from England, Ogbonna made clear he remains happy in Italy, but would love to one day test himself in the Premier League, whether that's at Manchester United or Liverpool.

"I would go willingly [to play abroad in future], to learn about foreign cultures," he said. "The English world fascinates me. It [the football] is similar in style to in Turin. And I speak English."

He added: "I have always been happy here [at Torino]. I have a long contract. I will give my all this season – my dream is to do well in the present, live day by day and we'll see."

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