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Liverpool face fight to sign 'new Messi'

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Football News

Liverpool appear to face stiff competition for the signing of South American starlet Juan Manuel Iturbe, with reports suggesting that two Italian sides are also vying for his services.

20-year-old Iturbe, who is currently on loan with Serie A newcomers Hellas Verona from Portuguese giants FC Porto, has been in impressive form at the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, delighting fans with a series of exciting attacking performances.

Such sparkling form appears to have attracted the attention of Liverpool, with Brendan Rodgers' Reds - who suffered a sizeable early blow in the title race on Saturday evening with a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Premier League leaders Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium - linked with a move for Iturbe earlier this week.

However, if the Merseysiders do indeed have serious designs on acquiring the Argentine-born playmaker - who the Daily Express, among others, have dubbed as the 'new Lionel Messi' - then they could face a considerable battle.

According to talkSPORT, the Reds are set to fight both Inter Milan and Verona themselves for Iturbe, who is available to be purchased by Andrea Mandorlini's men for a fee of approximately £11.75 million following the climax of the current campaign as per his loan agreement.

However, with doubts appearing to surround the club's capabilities to match such a seemingly extravagant fee, it appears as if the Italians may seek to split his ownership rights instead, with Walter Mazzari's side seeming the most likely candidate. 

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