Liverpool have reportedly received a major boost in their pursuit of Southampton defender Nathaniel Clyne, who is also a primary target for Manchester United.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Brendan Rodgers is a big admirer of the Saints full-back and has long desired to bring the player to Anfield.
Clyne has impressed one and all with his performances in recent seasons, especially in the current campaign that sees Southampton in third place only behind Chelsea and Manchester City in the Premier League. His improved showing for the club also saw him receive his first call up to the senior England squad and can now be considered England's first choice right-back along with Tottenham's Kyle Walker providing the competition.
The 23-year-old defender will have just one-year remaining on his contract at the end of the current campaign and with no contract talks on the horizon it is believed that Southampton are already resigned to lose him in the summer.
The report claims that manager Ronald Koeman has already identified his replacement as he has rekindled his interest in Leeds United's 21-year-old full-back Sam Byram.
It is believed that, if the South Coast club manages to land the Leeds player, interested clubs will be allowed to sign the highly-coveted England international.
Apart from Liverpool, arch rivals Manchester United are keenly following Clyne and are interested in signing him either in January or during the summer.
Louis van Gaal is a big admirer of the player and the manager has made strengthening his right-back position a priority with the Saints player being top of his wish-list which also includes, Everton's Seamus Coleman and Barcelona's Dani Alves. The Brazilian full-back is on the final-year of his contract with the Catalan giants and will be available on a free transfer at the end of the current campaign.