Liverpool have moved to improve their defensive options after making a first offer of £11m to French champions Paris Saint-Germain for impressive young centre-back Mamadou Sakho.

The 23 year old is in the final 12 months of his contract with PSG and has strongly been linked with a move away from his hometown club after struggling to become first choice at centre-back in recent seasons.

Sakho came through the youth system at Les Parisiens and quickly established himself in the first team at just 17 years of age. He featured heavily for a number of seasons but since the arrival of Thiago Silva and Alex, has struggled to command a regular spot in the centre of defence.

Italian giants AC Milan were heavily linked with the France international but accorinding to French newspaper La Parisien it is Liverpool who are the leading candidates to sign the defender after making an initial offer of £11m.

It is believed that Milan are unprepared to bid more than £4m for a player who will be available on a free transfer at the end of the current season.

Liverpool are believed to be in the market for a new central defender after discovering that Sebastian Coates could miss the entire season through injury.

After seeing Kolo Toure pick up a knock in the League Cup victory over Notts County, manager Brendan Rodgers is short of options with Martin Skrtel only just recovering from injury. That leaves just Daniel Agger and youngster Andre Wisdom as his only other available options.

The Reds have been strongly linked with a move for Sporting Lisbon centre-back Tiago Ilori but the Portuguese club are said to be demanding £17m for the 20 year old who is also out of contract next summer.

Liverpool originally had a £3m bid rejected by Sporting and it seems they are unprepared to meet their valuation of Ilori.

That could mean that they now concentrate their efforts on landing Sakho who already has more than 150 league appearances to his name for PSG, while representing France on some 14 occasions.

The 6ft 2" defender played 27 league games last season and helped PSG win the Ligue 1 title but it seems the club are prepared to allow him to leave.