By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Liverpool have prioritised the signing of a new left-back in the summer transfer window, Football Insider sources understand.
The Merseysiders are ready to pay around £5million for someone to compete with first-choice Alberto Moreno on the left side of the defence.
A Liverpool source has told Football Insider that the club’s top two targets are Leicester’s Ben Chilwell and Lorient’s Raphael Guerreiro.
Chilwell, 19, was the subject of a bid from Arsenal in the final days of the January window as the Gunners made an attempt to prise him from the King Power Stadium.
An Arsenal recruitment source has said that the bid was worth £4million including performance related add-ons.
Liverpool will battle Arsenal and a string of other leading Premier League clubs including Tottenham for Chilwell in the summer, while the Merseysiders are also closely monitoring Guerreiro, 22.
The Portugal international is rated in the £5million bracket following an impressive campaign for Lorient, making 33 appearances in all competitions.
Guerreiro has only 16 months remaining on his contract and the French club may be forced to cash in if he does not extend his deal.
Leicester have opened discussions with Chilwell’s representatives about extending his contract, which also runs until the summer of 2017.
The Premier League leaders are ready to up the academy graduate’s deal from £800-a-week to £8,000-a-week in a bid to keep him.
However, Chilwell may decide to sit tight and wait until the summer, by which time he will have just 12 months remaining on his deal and would be in a stronger position to force a move.
The England Under-20 international spent the first half of the season on loan at Huddersfield and then started both legs of Leicester’s FA Cup third-round clash against Tottenham but he has not played since 20 January.
In other Liverpool transfer news, a German journalist and TV pundit has revealed that Mario Gotze wants to move to Merseyside in the summer.