Sardar Azmoun
Sardar Azmoun looks destined to play in one of European football's top leagues in the future CURTO DE LA TORRE/AFP/Getty Images

Liverpool are yet to formalise their reported interest in highly-rated young FC Rostov forward Sardar Azmoun, according to his representative. The 21-year-old continues to attract attention from several potential suitors after impressing for Ivan Daniliants' side since switching to the Olimp-2 Stadium from domestic rivals Rubin Kazan in July.

Everton, Stoke City, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Olympique Marseille are all said to be monitoring a player many have somewhat prematurely and tediously labelled as the "Iranian Messi", while The Guardian reported last week that Liverpool were considering a January swoop for his services with Sadio Mane set to depart for January's Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Gabon. Injury-plagued striker Danny Ings is also expected to be sidelined for up to nine months after undergoing surgery to fix the cartilage damage in his right knee suffered during last month's EFL Cup fourth-round win over Tottenham Hotspur.

While Azmoun is clearly on the radar of a number of reputable European clubs, agent Mehdi Hagitali insists that Rostov have not received any bids and that his client is currently focused upon establishing himself as a bonafide star in Russia. Despite that, however, it appears that any potential offers will not be dismissed out of hand.

"I read about the interest in Sardar from Liverpool, but I can say that at present there have been no formal proposals from either foreign or Russian clubs," he was quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo. "Now his main goal is to become the best striker in the Russian Premier League. Kurban Berdyev is like a father figure, and he would like to work with the coach."

He later added: "If some proposals come, we will look at them."

Azmoun, who memorably scored a Dennis Bergkamp-esque goal in a 2015 Asian Cup victory over Qatar and boasts an impressive record of 16 strikes in just 22 senior caps for Iran, finished last season on loan at Rostov and remained with the Selmashi after a controversial dispute with Rubin Kazan that was eventually settled by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

He scored nine goals in 24 total appearances last term as financially challenged Rostov, whose surprising performance in 2015-16 inevitably drew comparisons with Leicester City's fairytale title run, finished second and two points adrift of eventual champions CSKA Moscow. Even that was a remarkable achievement given that they only just managed to retain their place in the top-flight one year earlier courtesy of a relegation play-off victory over FC Tosno.

Berdyev's departure in August cast doubt upon his future with Rostov, although Azmoun has since scored four goals in 19 outings across all competitions this term. He netted twice to help the team book their place in the Champions League proper and recently scored in a 2-1 group stage defeat to Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon.