Liverpool are considering a move in signing Iranian striker Sardar Azmoun in the January transfer window as Jurgen Klopp looks to bolster his options in the attacking division.
The former Borussia Dortmund manager has lost Danny Ings after he suffered a serious knee injury, which will see him miss the rest of the season. He picked up the injury in his side's EFL Cup win over Tottenam Hotspur – his second injury since moving to Liverpool. Ings was out for a major part of last season after he ruptured his cruciate knee ligament in October 2015.
Klopp is looking for a replacement for Ings in the squad for this season. According to the Daily Mail, the German boss has set his sights on Azmoun, who is currently playing his trade with Russian outfit FC Rostov.
The 21-year-old joined Rostov on loan from Rubin Kazan in February 2015 and before the start of the current campaign, the former club triggered the striker's release clause to sign him on a permanent deal. However, Kazan denied having any buyout clause in the player's contract.
Kazan filed a complaint with Fifa and Rostov responded with a counter complaint in the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which was ruled in the favour of Azmoun and Rostov. He was later included in the Russian club's Champions League squad for this season.
Azmoun has been in fine form for his current employers in the Champions League group stage qualifiers as he went on to score twice to help Rostov make it to the group stage of Europe's elite club competition. His last goal in the competition came during his side's 2-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid, taking his tally to three goals in European competitions.
The striker has continued his impressive form for his national side as he has already scored 16 goals in 22 appearances. His style of play and goalscoring record has seen him being dubbed as the "Iranian Messi."
According to the Guardian, Liverpool's new sporting director Michael Edwards is monitoring Azmoun's progress this season and could make a bid for his services when the transfer window reopens in January. The same report also claims the Iranian striker is also linked with the Reds' local rivals Everton and Stoke City.
Former Manchester United assistant manager Carlos Queiroz is the current Iran boss and he has managed Azmoun. The Portuguese coach has backed the striker to attain success at the highest level.
"He has all the qualities to succeed at the highest level. He is improving all the time. He has to keep his feet on the ground, work hard and make the right decisions. If so, he could be a real star of Iranian and Asian football for years to come," Queiroz told ESPN in 2015.