Liverpool have made a bid for Wataru Endo in an attempt to end their search for a defensive midfielder after missing out on Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia.
They are in talks with Stuttgart about the 30-year-old Japan international, who is thought to be keen on a move to Merseyside.
Liverpool have been looking for a holding midfielder since Jordan Henderson and Fabinho moved to Saudi Pro-League clubs Al-Ettifaq and Al-Ittihad for a combined £52 million.
They submitted three offers to Southampton for Lavia and a British record £111m bid to Brighton for Caicedo, but both preferred to join Chelsea, while summer signing Alexis Mac Allister had to anchor the midfield in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Manager Jurgen Klopp and new sporting director Jorg Schmadtke have returned to the Bundesliga for Endo, who captains both Stuttgart and his country.
Endo impressed in the World Cup, when Japan beat Germany and reached the last 16, and his high-energy approach should make him a good fit for Klopp’s style of play.
If a deal is completed, he will become Liverpool’s third summer signing, after Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai.