By Dominic Toner

Liverpool are laying the foundations for a January move for Andrea Ranocchia, according to a report.

Italian outlet Calcio Mercato claim that Inter Milan are prepared to sell the defender after he slipped down the pecking order under new manager Frank de Boer.

The report details the that the Italian side could let the centre-back leave in January and that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is keeping close tabs on him ahead of a winter bid.

Ranocchia, 28, has been limited to just two appearances this season and been restricted to the bench for the majority of the games.

The defender has made 21 appearances for Italy since making his debut in 2010, but was left out of Antonio Conte’s squad for Euro 2016.

The Azzurri are blessed with world-class Juventus trio Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli in defence.

Ranocchia has never played out of the Italian leagues and his former clubs included Genoa and Sampdoria.

He has made 168 appearances for Inter since his move to the San Siro in 2011, picking up 41 yellow cards during his time.

Liverpool’s summer recruit Joel Matip is forging a strong partnership with Dejan Lovren in the heart of the defence.

The Reds have managed to keep two clean sheets in their EFL Cup matches, in contrast to their league form where they have conceded in each of their five games.

In other Liverpool transfer news, Steven Gerrard agitated for this player to join him at Anfield.