Liverpool's list of possible additions to their defence is rapidly narrowing after St Etienne starlet Kurt Zouma confirmed he will remain with the Ligue 1 club for at least another year.
Brendan Rodgers has so far made four additions to his ranks ahead of the new season but is looking to make further signings in the coming weeks having identified left back and forward as positions which require strengthening.
The Reds have already brought in former Arsenal and Manchester City defender Kolo Toure to help fill the void left by the retired Jamie Carragher, but with uncertainty still surrounding the future of Martin Skrtel, another central defender could soon become a priority.
18-year-old Zouma, tipped as one of the brightest defensive prospects in Europe, has been persistently linked with clubs across Europe, particularly Liverpool, where the centre-half has been touted as a long term replacement for Carragher.
But it would appear the Reds will have to search elsewhere for potential defensive recruits, with Zouma in no immediate rush to leave his Ligue 1 club.
"There was a lot of noise this summer about a transfer for me," Zouma told Le Progres.
"I can only say one thing - I will be at St Etienne this season, for sure."
With just Jose Enrique as the club's only established presence on the left hand side of Rodgers' defence, the club remain firmly in the market for someone capable of providing cover for the Spanish defender.
While a deal for Benfica's Lorenzo Melgarejo appears to be on the verge of breaking down, Liverpool are now reportedly favourites to sign Valencia full back Aly Cissokho.
Enrique, who has been the club's first choice in the position since arriving from Newcastle in 2011, is ready for the challenge the France international may bring for his spot in the starting X1, believing competition in the side to be entirely necessary for a club of Liverpool's ambition.
"Of course, you need two players in every position," he told Liverpool's official website.
"If I was injured last year we were playing Glen Johnson on the left. We know Glen, he can play anywhere, but you need two players for any position. He will be more than welcome."