Liverpool have reportedly reignited interest in Sporting Lisbon centre-back Tiago Ilori and have made a fresh approach for the 20-year-old, amidst the defensive crisis at Anfield.
Sebastian Coates has been ruled out for six months with a cruciate-ligament injury picked up while playing for Uruguay. Meanwhile, Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel have been carrying knocks, leaving summer arrival Kolo Toure as the Reds' only fully fit centre-half at the moment.
Brendan Rodgers has been linked with an approach for Ilori for some time now and, according to the Mirror, the recent injuries and fitness concerns at Merseyside have now forced the Northern Irish tactician to return for the youngster.
Ilori broke into the Sporting first team last season and impressed to earn a call-up to the Portugal U-20 side. The report claims Liverpool have had a £3m bid for the player turned down by Sporting earlier in the summer but would be willing to sanction a sale for an offer around £6m.
Liverpool's top-four rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who are in the market for a centre-back, are also understood to be interested in Ilori but the Reds now seem to hold the edge over other potential suitors in their pursuit of the Portuguese defender.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have reportedly rejected a £10m bid from Napoli for Skrtel.
Partenopei boss Rafael Benitez, who brought Skrtel to Anfield, is understood to be keen on a reunion with the Slovakia international but the Reds have rebuffed the Spaniard's attempts and rejected a £10m bid, according to BBC.
Skrtel, who joined Liverpool from Zenit St Petersburg in 2008 for £6.5m, had fallen down the pecking order at Anfield under Rodgers last season and the club was understood to be open to letting him leave this summer.
However, Coates' long-term injury has forced the Reds to re-evaluate their situation at the back and the club have now decided that Skrtel will be needed in their ranks this season.