Liverpool are leading rivals Arsenal and Everton in an emerging transfer race for the signing of Pape Abou Cisse after scouting the Olympiacos centre-back, according to the Daily Mail.

The Premier League trio have sent staff to run the rule over the 26-year-old as they target defensive improvements. Cisse has been in fine form alongside former Gunners enforcer Sokratis Papastathopoulos at the Karaiskaki Stadium so far this season.

Boss Pedro Martins has started Cisse in 11 of Olympiacos’ 13 fixtures in all competitions, returning seven clean sheets. Thrylos have also only conceded five goals with Sadio Mane’s 6 ft 6 Senegal teammate on the field.

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Several clubs have told Olympiacos of their interest in a transfer for Cisse, but Liverpool currently lead Arsenal and Everton. The Reds want to strengthen Jurgen Klopp’s central defensive options after last season showed how quickly a nightmare can unfold.

Liverpool already brought in Ibrahima Konate for £36m from RB Leipzig this summer, but are loath to suffer another crisis. Everton also wanted to improve Rafa Benitez’s options this summer, as Sky Sports noted Mason Holgate and Jarrad Branthwaite were up for sale.

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Benitez is yet to field Holgate in the Premier League since Deadline Day, despite featuring twice before the market closed. Branthwaite is also yet to feature in the top-flight at all this term, with the 19-year-old only playing 57-minutes in their EFL Cup win over Huddersfield.

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Liverpool, Arsenal or Everton; Who wins transfer race for Cisse in 2022?

Liverpool will feel they hold an advantage over Everton and Arsenal in any transfer race for Olympiacos’ Cisse in Mane. The forward can bend his compatriot’s ear over the benefits of life at Anfield, where he has won the Premier League and Champions League under Klopp.

But Benitez may also have an advantage in the lesser levels of competition Cisse would face at Everton. Especially compared to Arsenal, who spent £50m on Ben White, who is building a strong relationship with Gabriel Magalhaes already.

Mikel Arteta will also welcome William Saliba back to the Emirates Stadium next year after his loan spell with Marseille. Arsenal will finally give the Frenchman a shot in north London, too, as Fabrizio Romano claims they 100% trust him and consider him part of their future.