Liverpool have launched a £21.8 million bid for Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa as manager Brendan Rodgers looks to add to his forward line.
Costa, who has been capped twice by Brazil, scored ten goals in 31 league games as Atletico finished third in La Liga last season.
Liverpool have made no comment on the possibility of signing the 24-year-old, but sources said they were hopeful that a deal would be struck.
The offer is understood to have triggered a release clause in Costa’s contract.
Rodgers said last week that a major transfer market priority was to add “a bit more support – that extra bit of quality – at the top end of the field”.
And he has decided to move for Costa regardless of what happens with last season’s 30-goal top scorer Luis Suarez, who remains at Anfield more than two months after first declaring that he wanted to leave.
Liverpool have rejected two bids for Suarez from Arsenal, who have not returned with any increase on the £40,000,001 offer that was knocked back last week. No other club has made a bid for Suarez this summer, despite reported interest from Real Madrid.
The Uruguay international will not be able to play in the Premier League until September as he completes a ten-match domestic suspension imposed after he bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a Premier League match in April.
Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre insisted the club had no plans to sell Suarez, telling Sky Sports News: “We’ve got Luis Suarez in our squad, he’ll have trained today and he’s working hard.
“Despite what people think, we’ve not had an intention of selling Luis. We’ve never said we want to sell Luis.
“He continues to work hard and train hard for Liverpool. That will continue and I’ll expect him to be here at the start of the season. Selling is not something we’re interested in and, as our fans would expect, we rejected both bids from Arsenal.
“The player is not available for sale – that’s where we are and that’s where we’ll stay.
“I wish I had £1 for everyone that’s stopped me in the street saying: ‘Make sure Luis stays.’ That’s what we're doing.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s England Under-21 left-back Jack Robinson has joined Championship side Blackpool on a season-long loan deal.