This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Liverpool are winning the race against Manchester United for ex-Barcelona youngster and Lazio prodigy Keita Balde Diao.
The 19-year-old striker linked up with the Serie A outfit in 2011 for a fee of £300,000, and scored five times in 23 senior appearances last season.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has already secured the services of Belgian youngster Divock Origi from Lille, but the former Swansea manager is desperate to snap up Diao ahead of Louis Van Gaal.
Reports in Italy claim that Lazio have already rejected a bid from the Anfield club, but it is believed that Liverpool will return with an improved offer for a player who struck an incredible 47 goals in a single season whilst out on loan at Spanish side UE Cornella, the same team which Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba was sent to, in the 2010-11 season.
Diao, who was born in Spain to Senegalese parents, spent seven years at Barcelona's famed academy before moving for a season to Cornella.
The youngster rejected the chance to return to the Nou Camp and instead opted to join Lazio, despite interest from United and Real Madrid.
Diao is highly valued by Lazio, who see him as Miroslav Klose's successor, and the Italian club will not part with him easily even if the player himself pushes for a switch to the Premier League.