Reds in fight with Serie A giants to sign talented Cruzeiro star.
Liverpool and Fiorentina could be set for a January tussle over the signing of highly-promising Brazilian winger Everton Ribeiro, CaughtOffside understands.
The 24-year-old attacker has been in impressive form over the last couple of seasons in the Brazilian league, scoring 18 goals in 56 appearances for Coritiba in 2012, before moving to current club Cruzeiro, where he has 14 goals in his last 49 appearances.
A tricky and skillful player, Ribeiro could be an outside contender for the squad for the Brazilian national team at next summer’s World Cup, after catching the eye of manager Luiz Felipe Scolari.
The Samba star began his career at left-back before really finding his feet in a more advanced midfield role, and he is now said to be a top target for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers this January.
The Reds boss has been keen to bring in new additions on the flanks in the middle of the season, with his side looking somewhat short in that area following the sale of Stewart Downing to West Ham in the summer, as well as Oussama Assaidi moving on loan to Stoke City for the season.
Victor Moses has been brought to Anfield on loan from Chelsea, though he could return to his parent club at the end of the year, and Rodgers knows he will need to make preparations for that eventuality by bringing in a player on a permanent deal.
The likes of Arda Turan and Jeremy Menez remain some of the club’s more big-name targets, though Liverpool could be tempted to do their work on the cheap, with Ribeiro possibly available for as little as £6.5m.
The Brazilian’s ability to fill in at left-back is also said to be tempting to the former Swansea manager, as Liverpool remain somewhat short of options in that part of the pitch as well, with Aly Cissokho joining the club on loan from Valencia for the season as competition for Jose Enrique.
With Ribeiro still to earn any caps for the senior Brazil side, there could be work permit complications if the Reds try to sign him this season, which could give Serie A giants Fiorentina an edge in the chase.
La Viola are also looking to strengthen in the wide areas following the summer departure of influential attacker Adem Ljajic, who moved to Roma, while current star Juan Cuadrado may also be set for an exit in the near future as the likes of Arsenal and Juventus close in on him.
Other top European sides could still join the chase for Ribeiro if he continues to catch the eye in Brazil.