Liverpool have made an approach to sign Benfica starlet Francisco Ferreira with the club considering a bid for the defender ahead of the January transfer window.

Ferreira, 20, is yet to play for the senior side but captains Benfica B having also represented Portugal at Under-21 level. The highly-rated centre-half was the subject of an initial approach from Anfield during the summer transfer window, according to Portuguese publication O Jogo, who report club president Luis Filipe Vieira refused to entertain offers for a player the club believe will soon break into the senior side.

Ferreira's agent has now confirmed that approach from Jurgen Klopp's side, with his client agreeing it was not the right time for him to leave Lisbon. Ulisses Santos was quoted as saying by A Bola: "I cannot deny it, Liverpool are one of the clubs that has approached me. Benfica, Ferro and myself, we understood that it is not the time [to leave the club]."

Liverpool have been following the young defender's progress for some time however and O Jogo report the Merseyside club are now studying the possibility of returning in January with another offer.

While Benfica are not against selling players they feel are ready to leave, Ferreira does not yet fit that profile with the club keen to see him follow in the footsteps of Ruben Dias, another young defender who has made the leap from the B ranks to Rui Vitoria's senior squad this season.

While their interest in Ferreira bodes well for Liverpool's long-term planning, an option ready-made for first-team football remains a priority for many supporters. After a recent run of conceding just once in four games, the Reds conceded three as they threw away a considerable lead to draw with Sevilla in Tuesday's Champions League clash - the fourth time Liverpool have conceded at least three goals in a match this season.

Jurgen Klopp
Klopp and his Liverpool staff are thinking long-term in their interest in Francisco Reis Ferreira. Getty