Skysports.com understands that talks are ongoing between Liverpool and Sunderland regarding Jordan Henderson.
The 20-year-old has emerged as a top target for the Reds, who want to agree a deal before he leaves with England this weekend for the Under-21 European Championship finals in Denmark.
But Henderson is one of Sunderland's best players and the Stadium of Light club are believed to be holding out for a fee in the region of £20million.
Liverpool have yet to meet that asking price, although it has been reported that they could be prepared to offer players in part-exchange and David Ngog has been mentioned among the possible makeweights.
Premier League champions Manchester United have also been linked with Henderson, but it appears that Liverpool is his preferred destination.
Talks are understood to have started last weekend as Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish continues his rebuilding job at the 18-time champions of England.
But Henderson only signed a five-year contract at Sunderland in April 2010 to mean that Steve Bruce is not under any pressure to sell the homegrown talent.
Henderson earned a call-up to Fabio Capello's England senior side for their friendly against France in November, however, his promising early form did suffer in the second half of the season.
It has been debated how the former Coventry loanee will fit into Liverpool's first team, but he is capable of operating in the centre or on the right of midfield.
Henderson also fits the mould of the young British players which Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group are keen to sign.