Anfield boss to battle White Hart Lane outfit for hotshot.
Liverpool are interested in rivalling Tottenham in the race for Brazilian star Leandro Damiao, Goal.com can reveal.
The highly rated Internacional striker has scored a stunning 39 goals in all competitions this season and has attracted the attention of a number of leading clubs in Europe.
Goal.com understands Liverpool representatives have scouted Damiao on at least six occasions this year, while assistant manager Steve Clarke watched the 22-year-old score his first goal for Brazil earlier this month in their 1-0 friendly win over Ghana at Craven Cottage.
The exact level of the Reds’ interest is unclear following the signing of Craig Bellamy on the last day of the transfer window, but owners Fenway Sports Group have established a policy of wanting to sign the best young players in world football.
Damiao fits that billing and Kenny Dalglish could be tempted to join a bidding war in the January transfer window, with Internacional expected to cash in on their prized asset.
The Porto Alegre-based club have not had any contact from Liverpool regarding Damiao, who they value at around £20 million having rejected a £16.5m bid from Tottenham in the final days of the summer window.
According to many reports it seems that Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish is not 100% happy with Andy Carroll’s ability to find the back of the net and given that the former Newcastle United man has only scored in two of the 16 matches he has taken part in and that led, in part, to the Anfield boss’s decision to bring in Craig Bellamy to offer further support up front.
Leandro Damiao is considered one of the hottest prospects in Brazilian football and the Internacional striker is likely to leave his homeland in January and Tottenham have up to now been the front runner to sign the 22 year old, not least as his former team-mate Sandro made the same move last season.
The powerfully built front man is a regular part of the senior Brazilian national team set-up and managed 39 goals in all competitions last term and help his side to a Copa Libertadores title in 2010 and a move to the Premier League is said to interest the striker.
Whilst Luis Suarez is a consistent force up front for Liverpool there may well be a need to bring in further reinforcements with Carroll misfiring at present. David N’Gog has left for Bolton and Dirk Kuyt, though clearly not a first team regular this term following the arrival of Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson, is still seen more as a converted right winger than a forward.
The asking price of £20m seems a fair one given the potential Damiao possesses and the fact that the Liverpool board has hitherto had no problem funding Dalglish’s raft of signings it’s a price they can probably afford to fork out to help push the club back towards the coveted top four.