Reported Liverpool and Tottenham target available after shock cup exit

Iran crowd with flag

Sardar Azmoun, who was linked with a move to Anfield last week, will be heading home from the Asian Cup after Iran lost to Iraq in the quarter-finals.

Reported Liverpool target Sardar Azmoun will be heading home from the Asian Cup in Australia this weekend, despite getting on the scoresheet for Iran in their quarter-final defeat to Iraq.

The 20-year-old attacker was linked with a switch to the Merseysiders last week, with the Mirror citing a report on Calcio Mercato claiming that the Reds were battling Tottenham Hotspur for the youngster already being dubbed as the “Iranian Messi” by some pundits.

Currently on the books at Russian club Rubin Kazan, Azmoun scored his second goal of the Asian Cup against Iraq, finishing off a fine move by Iran with a well-taken header that put the favourites 1-0 up in the first half.

The pivotal moment of the game came just two minutes before the break, however, after Iran defender Mehrdad Pooladi was sent off for a second booking.

Iraq fought back to level the scores in 90 minutes before the game headed into extra time with Iran twice equaliser to make the score 3-3 going into the penalty shootout.

Azmoun, who had been substituted before the extra 30 minute period, could then only watch on as Iraq triumphed 7-6 on penalties to progress to a semi-final meeting with South Korea.

The youngster will now return to Russia, where the speculation surrounding his future is only likely to increase following his impressive performances at these finals.

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