Liverpool are sending scouts to watch Franck Kessie who is already in talks with Chelsea over a January move, according to reports in Italy.
The Atalanta midfielder is hot property in Europe as one of the most sought after young stars in Serie A and has attracted the attentions of several big clubs inside and outside Italy.
Chelsea have been repeatedly linked with a move for the 20-year-old with reports suggesting the Blues would like a January transfer, but are ready to wait until the summer window after seeing a £22 million bid rejected.
However, Chelsea’s hand may now be forced as Premier League rivals Liverpool send representatives to watch the defensive midfielder in action in the African Cup of Nations.
Kessie is representing the Ivory Coast in Gabon and is tipped to be a key player for the tournament favourites.
The tournament has a wide array of talent on display, with Liverpool’s own Sadio Mane playing for Senegal.
Atalanta do not want sell Kessie in January but are believed to be ready to sell to the highest bidder in the summer.
Liverpool will make no secret of their intention to rival Chelsea for the midfielder and are happy to spend upwards of £35 million on the young star, according to Corriere Dello Sport.
Atalanta are in no rush to sell their prized asset with Kessie under contract until 2021.
This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.