Juventus are in pole position to sign David Alaba from Bayern Munich, according to a report from Italy, in news which comes as a blow to Liverpool.
The Reds have been heavily linked with Bayern Munich star Alaba, 28, over the last month as manager Jurgen Klopp eyes defensive recruits.
Liverpool have seen both members of their first-choice centre-back pairing – Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez – ruled out with long-term knee injuries over the last month.
A medium-term thigh injury to back-up option Fabinho leaves Klopp with just one senior centre-back available in Joel Matip, who has had numerous fitness concerns of his own in recent seasons.
As such, Alaba has emerged as a target and the versatile defender is reportedly keen on Anfield as a destination after his contract with Bayern expires next summer.
But Tuttosport claims Juventus have emerged as favourites to land Alaba as they view him as an ideal replacement for veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini.
The report adds the Serie A giants would like to extend Cheillini's contract until 2022 and bring Alaba to Turin in June.
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This would allow them to rotate the two left-footed centre-backs before Alaba ascends to first choice upon Chiellini's retirement.
Further, Alaba's versatility makes him an attractive prospect and he can also feature at left-back or in midfield, where he frequently plays for Austria.
But Juve will face stiff competition to land their man, as Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are also monitoring the situation, alongside Liverpool.
Alaba is believed to have no desire to extend his stay at the Allianz Arena after talks over a new deal collapsed.
He has won 17 major honours during a glittering 10-year spell in Bavaria, including two Champions League titles, and played a major role as Hansi Flick's side clinched the treble last season.
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