Last Updated: Tue, 06 Aug 2013 10:10
Liverpool have suffered a setback in their bid to replace Napoli-bound Martin Skrtel after summer target Kurt Zouma ruled out a move.
Reports in the Italian press on Tuesday have indicated that Skrtel is in advanced talks with Napoli, despite the Italians struggling to reach an agreement on the Slovakian's price.
The Reds are thought to want £12million for the 28-year-old, while the Azzurri are keen to sign him on an initial season-long loan deal with a view to a permanent move.
Whether Skrtel leaves or not, boss Brendan Rodgers is still keen to overhaul his defence and is thought to have earmarked St Etienne defender Zouma.
The 18-year-old is one of the most sought-after talents in Europe after impressing for Les Verts, while he helped France's Under-20 side claim the World Cup this summer.
Despite being linked with Liverpool, as well as Atletico Madrid and Anzhi Makhachkala, Zouma says he is planning to have at least one more season with St Etienne and has no interest in leaving this year.
Zouma told Le Progres: "There was a lot of noise this summer about a transfer for me. I can only say one thing - I will be at St Etienne this season, for sure."
Having also missed out on Benfica defender Lorenzo Melgarejo, Rodgers could now focus his attention on Granada's Guilherme Siqueira and Valencia's Aly Cissokho in his bid to strengthen the Reds' backline.
Have you an opinion on this story? Put your money where your mouth is and claim a free £25 bet.