By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Liverpool are interested in signing Argentina right-back Gabriel Mercado, according to River Plate president Rodolfo D’Onofriohas.
The 29-year-old is currently playing for Argentina in the Copa America but any transfer could hinge on Mercado receiving a work permit.
D’Onofriohas has revealed that this hurdle can only be overcome if Argentina win the tournament as he claimed that Jurgen Klopp wants to prise the player from his homeland.
“Klopp likes him,” D’Onofriohas told Fox Sports, as cited by the Sky Sports website. “But for Mercado to go to England, Argentina need to be champions. Winning a title with the national team would allow him to play in England.”
The Liverpool manager saw Mercado play for Argentina against Chile in the Copa America last week.
Klopp’s presence at the game sparked an internet frenzy because he sat with Gonzalo Higuain’s brother, prompting reports that the German was ready to move for the prolific Napoli striker.
Those suggestions were soon quashed, however, with Anfield sources insisting Klopp was just taking in the game while on holiday in California.
But it still gave him the chance to have a look at River Plate’s Mercado first hand and Liverpool will now decide whether to take their interest any further while they wait on how far Argentina progress in the tournament,
Mercado, who started his career with Racing Club before joining Estudiantes and then River, operates primarily as a right-back.
However, he is also comfortable in central defence and can play on the right side of midfield, too.
His pedigree is evident by the fact that he has won seven senior caps.
In other Liverpool transfer news, the Merseysiders have been urged to sign one of the Championship’s outstanding young players.