Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has earmarked Ryan Shawcross and Gary Cahill as the men to solve his side’s defensive problems, according to the Metro.
Reds director of football Damien Comolli indicated on Friday that the £6million arrival of Jose Enrique from Newcastle United would be the club’s last inward transfer of the summer.
However, it seems Liverpool’s owners are prepared to find the money for a new central defender after the team conceded 15 goals in six pre-season friendlies.
Stoke City’s Shawcross is Dalglish’s preferred option and the Reds are lining up a £10million bid, according to reports.
The Potters value the 23-year-old at around £18million and as they have a wealthy backer in the form of online betting tycoon Peter Coates, have no need to sell.
If Shawcross proves too expensive, Liverpool will turn their attention to Cahill of Bolton Wanderers.
The England international has been linked with Arsenal throughout the transfer window, but the Gunners are unwilling to meet the £17million asking price.
Liverpool would also be reluctant to pay that much for Cahill, but are prepared to discuss a cash-plus-player deal involving David Ngog.