Jorginho in action for Verona against Roma. [Reuters]

Italian giants Napoli are reportedly set to beat Liverpool to the signature of Hellas Verona star Jorginho, who have been identified by Brendan Rodgers as Steven Gerrard's long term replacement.

Jorginho was instrumental in helping Verona secure promotion to Serie A last season and he has impressed a number of European sides during the first half of this campaign, scoring seven goals and grabbing four assist in 18 domestic league games in the top flight.

Rodgers is looking for young talent to add to the squad and Jorginho looks to be a perfect long term replacement for Reds captain Gerrard, who remains a key player for Liverpool but will be 34 at the end of the season.

However, Italian newspaper Il Mattino report that Napoli are leading the race to sign the 22-year-old midfielder and claim that they can even close a £8m deal this week.

Jorginho's agent Joao Santos admitted recently that the Brazilian youngster is willing to leave the Italian side during the transfer window if he receives an interesting proposal – with Premier League duo Chelsea and Arsenal as well Zenit St Petersburg also linked with the midfielder.

"He can leave Verona now if he receives a great offer - if an important proposal arrives it is fair that the player is allowed to leave," Jorginho's agent said.

Despite being born in Brazil, Jorginho has played for Italy's Under-21s and he can increase his chances of winning a spot in the senior side in time for the World Cup if he moves to a big club this January.

Brendan Rodgers has clearly stated his intentions to strengthen his squad in this transfer window and he is specially concerned about the midfield as Gerrard's recent injury left the team short of options during the busy Christmas period.