By Greg Stobart
Liverpool are weighing up a bid for Saint-Etienne star Dimitri Payet, but will not pay the French club's asking price.
Damien Comolli, the Reds' director of football, is a huge admirer of the winger having worked with him at Saint-Etienne before leaving for Liverpool last November.
Payet, 24, is the subject of interest from Qatari-owned Paris Saint-Germain as well as French champions Lille, who are looking to replace Arsenal-bound Gervinho.
The France international is aware of interest from Liverpool and Goal.com understands he has been told that the Reds could be ready to enter the bidding as manager Kenny Dalglish looks to add some wide men to his squad.
Dalglish wants at least two wingers and is hoping to clinch the signing of €17m-rated Aston Villa star Stewart Downing.
But he is targeting at least one more wide player in the summer transfer window, having already missed out on Ashley Young and seen a move for Sylvain Marveaux fall through, amidst suggestions he failed a medical.
Comolli would be willing to pay around €6.7m for Payet, who scored 13 goals in 33 appearances last season and has been capped three times for the France national team.
Payet, who is under contract until 2013, is believed to favour a move to Anfield but Saint-Etienne will have to lower their expectations over the transfer value.
The French club's president, Roland Romeyer, revealed earlier this month that he had been in touch with English sides but insisted he would not let his star player leave on the cheap.
“There have also been calls from England,” said Romeyer. “But there is no question of letting Dimitri leave at any price.”
Another problem for Liverpool is the bad blood felt by Saint-Etienne after former Tottenham director Comolli criticised the working environment at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
Romeyer has said he felt “betrayed” by Comolli after he quit the club and accused him of squandering money on signings.
PSG's interest in Payet is becoming increasingly apparent, with reports suggesting the capital club have offered €8m plus Jeremy Clement for the winger.
Meanwhile, reports in France have suggested Liverpool are ready to meet the €8m release clause to sign Brest striker Nolan Roux.
The 23-year-old has scored 21 goals in 53 league games for his club and would replace fellow Frenchman David Ngog at Anfield.