Anfield club have a fight on their hands to attract Mestalla star from the Emirates.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has finally turned up to the summer sales and offered a club record £18million for Valencia midfielder Juan Mata.
The 23-year-old’s agent has held talks with Gunners officials as Wenger has watched his rivals strengthen their squad.
A deal is now expected to be tied up as Mata is happy to discuss his future with the European Under 21 Championships complete, according to the Daily Mail.
He was a top target for Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish but was unable to offer the Spain international the Champions League football he craves.
Mata’s eight goals and 12 assists last season has attracted interest from a number of top clubs, including Manchester United, and is why Wenger is prepared to smash the club record for a transfer fee.
The arrival of Mata could signal the end of captain Cesc Fabregas’ Arsenal career with Spanish media reporting he will never return to London from holiday.
Wenger is also courting Velez Sarsfield midfielder Ricardo Alvarez for £12million but faces competition from Inter Milan.
Arsenal chief scout Steve Rowley was in Argentina earlier this month to tie up a deal for Alvarez, but found difficulty in striking an agreement with the 23-year-old’s advisers.