Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton are to slug it out for the signature of Roma's Kostas Manolas, according to Sky Italia.
Manolas is reportedly interesting both Jurgen Klopp and Ronald Koeman, and the duo could be set to engage in a head-to-head battle for the centre-back as each looks to bolster their defensive ranks in January.
Greece international Manolas is one of Europe's most highly-rated centre backs, and has attracted interest from a number of top clubs across the continent in recent times. It is the Reds and the Toffees, though, who are the latest to be linked with big-money moves for Manolas as the winter transfer window plows on.
Klopp already boasts the likes of Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan as options at centre-half, but the German has had to rely on defensive midfielder Lucas Leiva as an emergency defender in the event that one or more of the trio are ruled out through injury or suspension.
The ex-Borussia Dortmund boss is also likely to want to add bodies to his first-team squad in an attempt to add steel to his leaky Liverpool defence - a problem that has hampered the club's Premier League title push in recent weeks.
Koeman, meanwhile, is desperate to add quality and youth to his backline, with two of his options in the heart of defence - Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams - the wrong side of 30 and reservations still held over Ramiro Funes Mori's ability to play at the highest level.
Everton and Liverpool are both interested in signing 25-year old Roma centre back Kostas Manolas. [Sky Italia] pic.twitter.com/WcTrMJW1bA— LFC Transfer Room (@LFCTransferRoom) January 8, 2017
The Blues have looked more defensively solid under the Dutchman then predecessor Roberto Martinez but, with only six clean sheets all season, the 53-year-old is keen to begin overhauling his creaky and weary defence.
If either club has hopes of luring Manolas away from Roma, a bid in the region of £30m is expected to be the last that both parties would have to offer. With rumours that fellow Premier League sides Chelsea and Manchester United are also interested in acquiring the 25-year-old, it could even take a fee greater than that to entice the Serie A outfit into selling one of their prized assets.
Manolas has played his football at the Stadio Olimpico for two-and-a-half seasons after he completed an £11m 2014 summer move from AEK Athens. The 27-times capped international had figured over 80 times for the Greek side before his switch to Italy, and has made 107 appearances for I Giallorossi during his stay in Italy's capital city.
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