Liverpool are leading the battle for Porto midfielder Fernando, according to reports from the Daily Star.

The Brazilian star is believed to be on the radars of a number of top clubs – including Chelsea and Manchester United – with his current contract set to expire at the end of the season.

Rumours suggest that the 26-year-old is not keen to extend his stay in Portugal beyond next summer, opening the door for a move next month.

This has alerted Reds chief Brendan Rodgers, who is keen to bolster his central options.

With Steven Gerrard currently out of action, the Northern Irishman only has Jordan Henderson, Lucas Leiva and Joe Allen to call upon, with an injury or suspension for any of the trio possessing the threat of derailing the club’s fine opening period of the season.

Liverpool are believed to be ready to meet the South American’s salary demands to keep him out of the grasps of other interested parties.

The Anfield club have been buoyed by Luis Suarez’s decision to pen a new contract, and are ready to use this to kick their plans to qualify for the Champions League and establish themselves as a top four club in the Premier League.

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