Liverpool: World Cup star a 'distinct possibility', Arsenal-linked wonderkid made 'top target' - report

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According to the Italian press, Liverpool are casting their eyes over the peninsula in an effort to reinforce the squad.

Despite an outlay of some £130 million over the summer to bring in fresh faces in the aftermath of Luis Suarez’s departure, the rebuilding process continues at Liverpool.

Smarting from a 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford at the weekend, the Reds enter the busy holiday season looking up from the bottom half of the table.

There are plenty of needs to be satisfied in Brendan Rodgers’ side, namely a goalkeeper to step in for Simon Mignolet and a prolific striker to bolster the attack.

Mignolet found himself benched against Manchester United in favour of Brad Jones due to his unconvincing performances this season, a replacement hotly tipped to be brought in.

The Reds were heavily linked with Fiorentina’s Neto over the course of the autumn, but the Brazilian’s protracted contract negotiations with the Viola have made for slow going.

Tuttomercatoweb have now reported that Liverpool are hot on the tail of another Serie A shot stopper, Argentina international Sergio Romero of Sampdoria.

Despite starring at the World Cup for his country, the 27-year-old was on the Blucerchiati’s chopping block due to a desire to be freed of his wages.

Yet the Argentine stayed, even as former Arsenal loanee Emiliano Viviano was brought in to take over as the Genoese club’s number one.

Viviano has missed a significant amount of time because of injury and Romero has reclaimed the starting spot, though Liverpool seem keen to pry him away.

It’s said that there has been constant contact between Romero and Liverpool – with a January switch to Anfield a ‘distinct possibility’.

Sampdoria have other options and may well still be open to offloading him, offering the Reds the chance to replace Mignolet mid-season.

Up front, however, it seems the Merseysiders will have to wait to swell their ranks. Palermo starlet Paulo Dybala has reportedly emerged as a top target, but for the summer rather than January.

The electrifying 21-year-old has lit up Serie A this term with seven goals and four assists in 15 appearances, earning the praise of Rosanero president Maurizio Zamparini and interest from Arsenal.

Zamparini has said his young star is worth as much as £40 million, desperate to extend his contract – set to expire in 2016 – to avoid being forced into a premature sale in July.

It’s not the first time Liverpool have been linked with Dybala, but the Reds interest seems to have firmed up, with a strategy planned to land him come summer.

The Reds will be hoping that contract extension never arrives for the Argentine at the Renzo Barbera, meaning a cut-price deal could be on the table.

Biding their time might just allow Liverpool to get their man without paying top dollar, though of course everything will need to fall into place for this to happen.

Dortmund are also reportedly in the race for Dybala’s signature alongside Arsenal, and the fight for him will be ferocious such is the prodigious talent the Palermo youngster possesses.

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