Juventus are looking to hand Liverpool a scathing blow after reportedly entering the race to sign Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon during the summer transfer window.
The Daily Express states that the reigning Serie A champions are preparing to lodge a £10m bid to persuade the Portuguese side into selling their defender. The 24-year-old had emerged as a target for the Reds manager Brendan Rodgers after his attempts to sign Alberto Moreno from Sevilla looked to have hit a snag.
Rojo, who is capable of playing as a centre-back as well as a left-back, is currently on World Cup duty with Argentina. He featured in the entire 90 minutes and impressed in both their Group F fixtures as Alejandro Sabella's side beat Bosnia and Herzegovina (2-1) and Iran (1-0).
Arsenal and Manchester United too were thought to be interested as their respective managers, Arsene Wenger and Louis van Gaal, aim to bolster their squads for the upcoming campaign. The Gunners look resigned to losing Thomas Vermaelen during this transfer window amid reported interest from the Red Devils, and Wenger is looking to strengthen his defence.
The 20-time English champions are also seeking defensive reinforcements following the departure of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Alexander Buttner. Although van Gaal is believed to have made Luke Shaw his number one priority, the Dutchman could switch his attention if Southampton demand outrageous amounts for the England international.
Rojo became a regular starter for Sporting since making the switch to Estadio Jose Alvalade from Spartak Moscow for a £3.5m fee in 2012. He made 25 starts in the Portuguese Primeira Liga during the 2013/14 season under former manager Leonardo Jardim as his side finished second in the table.
However, the Express report claims that the approach from Juventus is likely to spark a bidding war between interested parties to acquire Rojo's services.
Antonio Conte's side are said to be keen on completing the move before the versatile defender's performances in Brazil prompt Sporting to raise their asking price.
The Portuguese outfit seem to be willing to listen to offers for the Argentinean international and are willing to part ways with their player for £10m.
However, another stumbling block for all interested parties could be his desire to ply his trade in Spain. Rojo, who came through the youth ranks of Estudiantes in Argentina, expressed his desire to play for Barcelona.
So far there has been no interest or approach reported from the Catalan giants' newly appointed manager Luis Enrique.