Liverpool have reportedly renewed their interest in Zenit St Petersburg’s ‘Iranian Messi’ Sardar Azmoun.

It is not often a young striker gets a second chance to move to Liverpool, just two years after turning down one of the biggest clubs in English and European football. But, according to Soviet Sport, Sardar Azmoun is once again on the radar of the Merseyside giants.

Liverpool apparently sent scouts to watch the so-called ‘Iranian Messi’ during a Russian Super Cup clash between Zenit St Petersburg, who Azmoun joined in January, and Lokomotiv Moscow.

And if Liverpool fans recognise the name, there is a reason for that.

“I did not feel the time to move was right,” Azmoun told SC in March 2017 after turning down what looked at the time like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Have Liverpool stumbled upon a perfect centre-back pairing?

“I would have ended up playing a few games and then spent a great deal of time on the bench as Liverpool were only looking to fill a void for a particular part of their season.”

In truth, however, Azmoun was probably right. And he has used the last two years to build on the promise he showed in 2017, making huge strides during his time as a Zenit player to hit the net far more regularly than before.

The striker scored a superb 14 goals in just 17 games in his six months in St Petersburg.

Liverpool have demonstrated, in the pursuit of Virgil van Dijk in particular, that they will not be discouraged after failing to sign their top target at the first attempt. The Reds’ scouting system is famed for it’s depth and ability to scrutinise every aspect of a player’s game, after all, and they don’t tend to just move on to alternatives when a first approach fails. Patience is the name of the game.

If Liverpool wanted Azmoun in 2017, and again now, that means they think he is the real deal.

17 months ago, one of the biggest talents to emerge out of the Middle East in years uploaded a photo on Instagram of him standing alongside Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, grinning from ear to ear.

‘The best’; Azmoun wrote. It seems that admiration is mutual.

This content could not be loaded

In other news, ‘Only player who tried’: Some Spurs fans have somehow found a positive after last night