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Reds director of football Damien Comolli has been in contact with representatives of the 23-year-old Belgian midfielder as he looks to bolster the squad at Anfield this summer

EXCLUSIVE
By Greg Stobart

Liverpool are weighing up a €11.5 million move for Standard Liege midfielder Steven Defour after Manchester United cooled their interest in the Belgian star.  

United have been tracking Defour for more than two years but have indicated that they are unlikely to follow up their interest with a summer bid.

The 23-year-old is set to leave his Belgian club at the end of the season and Liverpool have now emerged as one of the leading contenders for his signature.

Defour's agent, Paul Stefani, has held talks with Portuguese giants Benfica within the last month but he has also been in contact with Damien Comolli, Liverpool's director of football, about a summer move to the Premier League.

Comolli and Reds manager Kenny Dalglish want to add creativity to the Liverpool midfield next season and have identified Defour as one of their candidates.

Defour had previously been reluctant to join the Anfield club as he feared he would ruin his dream of playing for Manchester United. Sir Alex Ferguson took the extraordinary step of writing a letter to the player in 2009 after he suffered a long-term foot injury.

But Defour has been impressed by the direction the Merseysiders have taken since Dalglish took over from Roy Hodgson in January and a summer switch could be on the cards if Liverpool decide to make an offer.

"Liverpool are now a different club to last year," a source told Goal.com. "Defour could really thrive and achieve his goals at Liverpool - and he is the kind of player they want to sign now."

The Belgian international would fit into Liverpool's strategy of buying young and talented players under owners Fenway Sports Group and his £10m price is considered attractive by the decision-makers at the club.

Comolli has said he wants to bring “top players” to Anfield and has promised movement in the transfer market during the summer as the Reds look to build on the January signings of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll.

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