Liverpool are reportedly ready to step up their interest in Athletic Bilbao midfielder Javi Martinez.
The 23-year-old has been on Liverpool's radar for some time, with the Reds first showing interest in the Spain international when Rafael Benitez was in charge at Anfield.
Both Manchester City and rivals Manchester United are keen on signing Martinez, who would likely cost in the region of £25million.
Although he has a £34m release clause in his contract, Bilbao are believed to be willing to sell for less.
And according to Metro citing reports in Italy, Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish is keen on adding the Spaniard to his squad at the end of the season.
The Scot is likely to face tough competition, however, as Man City scouts have watched Martinez on a number of occasions throughout the season, while United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is a long-term admirer.
Earlier this month, Martinez hinted at a move to the Premier League after admitting that the English game suits his style of play.
He told Goal.com: "Maybe my football is quite physical, it's certainly more oriented to being physical.
"But I think that is also a valid style here in Spain. Here there are many players who play with my same characteristics.
"Perhaps the football in England is more suitable but I am doing very well here so that's not a problem for me."
When asked about speculation about his future, Martinez added: "I try not to pay any attention to all the things that I see or read. In the end these are just rumours of newspapers and the media.
"The reality is that as yet nothing clear has come my way. No club has made an offer to me or to my agent and so I prefer not to go round in circles with this.
"I am just concentrating now on the end part of the season and just focusing on giving 100 per cent of my thinking and energy to the club."