Liverpool must rival Manchester United for the signature of Real Madrid star Raphael Varane this summer, according to Anfield legend John Barnes.
Varane has less than 18 months remaining on his deal at the Santiago Bernabeu and Los Blancos would rather sell him this summer than lose him for free next year.
The Red Devils are long-term admirers of the Frenchman, who has made 351 appearances for the Spanish giants and is considered one of the best centre-backs in La Liga.
The latest reports from Spain suggest United will need to stump up £70million for Varane, while they are also linked with Sevilla stalwart Jules Kounde.
And Barnes would love to see his former club beat United to land the World Cup winner, telling BonusCodeBets : "Varane would be a fantastic signing for Liverpool.
"He’s quick, he’s a good defender and great on the ball so he would suit the way that Liverpool play and for Liverpool to sign him would be a fantastic piece of business.
"He would strengthen any team in the Premier League but if he is leaving Real Madrid then there will be a lot of teams interested and a lot of competition to sign him."
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Liverpool have been hit hard by defensive injuries this season, with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip each sidelined for the long term.
The Reds' problems in attack have also been stark, as Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have not the incisive trio they have been in recent years.
To address this, the Reds are among the many teams pursuing PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund frontman Erling Haaland.
But Barnes insists Liverpool would be better off investing in their defence as he believes Salah, Firmino and Mane should remain the club's forward line for many more seasons to come.
The former England winger added: "Mbappe and Haaland are the answer to Liverpool’s problems, but they would also be great for Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and every top team in Europe.
"Attacking players are not Liverpool’s immediate priority because they have Mane, Salah and Firmino, who are fantastic players and the club are among the top scorers in the league while playing brilliant attacking football.
"However, looking at the age of the top three, in the long term they need to be replaced, but for the immediate future, Mbappe and Haaland aren’t players that could come unless things change with one of the front three going."
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