Liverpool are scouting Newcastle United centre-back Jamaal Lascelles, according to the Sunderland Echo.
The Reds have been casting an eye over the 23-year-old, who is currently Newcastle’s captain, and could make a move to improve their ranks at centre-back.
Joel Matip has impressed since his move from Schalke in the summer, but the likes of Dejan Lovren, Ragnar Klavan and Lucas remain unconvincing as centre-back options.
Liverpool scouts reportedly watched Lascelles during Newcastle’s 4-0 win over Birmingham City on Saturday, and are expected to watch the former Nottingham Forest man over the next few weeks.
However, Jurgen Klopp’s side face competition from Premier League rivals Chelsea, who are reportedly lining up a £18m move.
With stalwart John Terry set to leave the Blues at the end of the season, while Gary Cahill is also entering the twilight of his career, head coach Antonio Conte could line up a move for former England U21 defender Lascelles as he looks to the future.
Lascelles has been one of the standout performers for Rafa Benitez’s Magpies so far this season, leading Newcastle to the top of the Championship.
The team have conceded 16 goals in the Championship, the third best record in the league behind Brighton and Hove Albion and Derby County.
Liverpool have struggled defensively so far this season, while Chelsea have improved ever since manager Conte switched to a three-man defence following their defeat at Arsenal.
Cesar Azpilicueta has impressed since making the switch to centre-back, while David Luiz has been given more freedom and Gary Cahill has shown improved form over the course of the season.