Nicolas Gaitan
Nicolas Gaitan still has two years remaining on his contract with Benfica.Getty Images

Liverpool are reportedly plotting to hijack Manchester United's move for Benfica star Nicolas Gaitan in the ongoing transfer window.

The attacking midfielder, who can also play as a winger, has been linked with a £20m move to Anfield as well as Old Trafford.

Despite being long-term admirers, the Red Devils' s attempts to land the Argentinean in the previous transfer windows were in vain.

An Independent report states that the Reds are in talks with the reigning Portuguese champions over a possible transfer this summer.

Brendan Rodgers's transfer kitty has been boosted by Luis Suarez's sale to Barcelona and the Northern Irishman has insisted that he will be using the £75m fee to make "strategic signings".

The former Swansea City boss is ready to take Liverpool's summer expenditure over the £100m mark. He has already spent almost £60m on signing Rickie Lambert, Emre Can, Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic.

The Merseyside club are believed to be nearing completion of a £38.5m swoop for Dejan Lovren, Loic Remy and Divock Origi.

The French newspaper Le10sport claimed that AS Monaco have earmarked the 26-year-old as their number one target following the departure of James Rodriguez to Real Madrid.

It was reported that the former Boca Juniors star had agreed personal terms with the Ligue 1 giants but the move fell through.

Leonardo Jardim's side failed to agree a fee as the Europa League runners-up are willing to allow their prized asset to leave only if his release clause of €45m (£35.6m) is activated.

However, the Independent report states that Liverpool are hoping to strike a deal for less than the price necessary to facilitate the midfielder's departure from Estadio da Luz.

Reigning Spanish champions Atletico Madrid were also reportedly interested but Gaitan's agent Jose Iribarren quashed all rumours.

"I know there's a lot of speculation around the Gaitan, but I can assure you that so far have not received any official offer or Atletico Madrid or Monaco. This is not to say that clubs are not negotiating, but so far not yet reached me anything," Iribarren explained.

Since moving to Portugal in 2010, Gaitan has been one of the consistent performers for Jorge Jesus' side.

Both clubs have already done business this summer over the £20m transfer of Markovic. It remains to be seen whether the South American will reunite with the Serbian international at Anfield for the upcoming campaign.