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Liverpool looking to land long-term Man Utd target Nico Gaitan

Reports from Portugal claim 11/2 Premier League title shots Liverpool are targeting Benfica winger Nico Gaitan, who has also been a rumoured target of bitter rivals Manchester United.

The 26-year-old has six caps for Argentina, but those came under Sergio Batista. He has fallen out of favour under current national boss Alejandro Sabella, despite being a club regular at the Estadio da Luz.

Brendan Rodgers is believed to have sent Reds scouts to Portugal with the brief of watching £16m-rated left-footer Gaitan, who can play anywhere across advanced midfield areas.

Since joining Benfica from Boca Juniors in 2010, Gaitan has scored 22 goals and laid on twice as many assists in over 150 appearances in all competitions. Now, he is entering his prime and Liverpool feel confident of landing a player United reportedly came close to capturing in the summer of 2012.

Rodgers has missed out on a few attacking midfield talents in the last year. Armenian star Henrikh Mkhitaryan chose Borussia Dortmund over a switch to Anfield and Chelsea snatched Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah from under the Reds’ noses.

Benfica are unlikely to budge on their asking price for Gaitan, so Liverpool will have to splash out this summer if they are to reinforce their forward line.

Strikers Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez have scored 42 Premier League goals between them, but their supporting cast have struggled to supplement this prolific partnership.

Gaitan played for Benfica against Chelsea in the Europa League final last season, and English audiences will get another good look at him as the Portuguese giants tackle Tottenham in the last 16 of this term’s competition.

Domestic league leaders Benfica are 11/1 shots to go all the way in Europe this season under Jorge Jesus, but Spurs are third-favourites to lift the trophy at 15/2. Tottenham want a top-four finish and Champions League football next term – something Liverpool are heavily odds-on for now at 1/12.