Liverpool are ready to battle it out with Manchester United for the £20m signature of Brazilian prodigy Lucan Rodrigues, according to reports.
Both clubs have sent scouts to watch the 19-year-old midfielder after he was voted best player in the South American Under-20 Championships this year.
United, who are also monitoring Anderlecht's Argentine midfielder Lucas Biglia and Nicolas Gaitan of Benfica, remain in the market for an attacking midfielder after failing in summer attempts to sign Inter Milan's Wesley Sneijder and Arsenal's Samir Nasri.
Liverpool's director of football Damien Comolli also watched Rodrigues when he featured for Brazil against Scotland. The Sao Paulo midfielder has a contract with the Brazil club until 2016 but both Premier League clubs are prepared to test their resolve in January.
Rodrigues has made ten appearances for the Brazil national side, scoring in the 2-0 win over rivals Brazil in September.
Liverpool reinforced their midfield in the most recent transfer window, recruiting Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam. All three have failed to provide a cutting edge in front of goal but Scotland playmaker Adam remains confident he can reproduce his stunning form for Blackpool last term.
The 25-year-old midfielder scored 13 goals for the Tangerines last season and he cautioned there is no danger of becoming complacent during this campaign.
"I hadn't played in the Premier League until last season and people judged me on how I performed for Blackpool," Adam told the club's official Web site.
"But I want to show that I can be a Premier League player on a consistent basis, and that I'm good enough to play for Liverpool.
"The expectation levels here are really different to what they were at Blackpool. We are expected to win every week, whereas that wasn't always the case last season. But having that kind of challenge is something I really look forward to."