Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is already assessing a number of targets for the January transfer window and has made Reading defender Alex Pearce one of his top priorities.

Rodgers knows the defender well from his time as manager of Reading where he made the young centre-back his captain and has continued to chart his progress.

Brendan Rodgers
Rodgers is believed to be interested in signing Reading defender Alex Pearce [Reuters]

The Daily Mail believes that Rodgers sees Pearce as the type of defender that can fill the boots of veteran Liverpool centre-back Jamie Carragher, who at 34, is coming towards the end of a long and successful playing career.

The Northern Irishman has already brought two former employees to Liverpool, in Fabio Borini and Joe Allen, and is clearly keen to work with players he knows can work in his preferred system.

Liverpool already have an impressive central defensive pairing in Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel, however, it seems as though Rodgers is not happy with the players that are currently in reserve.

Uruguayan Sebastian Coates is yet to really establish himself in the first team, while Scottish defender Danny Wilson has rarely threatened the first team since moving to Liverpool in the summer of 2010.

Pearce may be available to Liverpool at a cut price as he is in the final year of his contract and has shown no signs that he is willing to extend his stay at the Madejski Stadium.

The Mail has suggested that Pearce is unhappy with the contract offer and has therefore been dropped from the side as punishment for not renewing his deal.

The 23-year-old was voted Reading's Player of the Season last year but has now been on the bench for the last seven games in which the club have conceded some 18 goals.

Should Pearce fail to sign a new deal then he would be available on a free transfer in the summer, or at a knock down price in January when Liverpool may look to make an offer.