This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Liverpool FC are set to launch a £12million bid to sign Schalke centre-back Kyriakos Papadopoulos.
The Reds have identified the 21-year-old Greek international as their No.1 target to replace Jamie Carragher.
Papadopoulos missed the second half of the Bundesliga season after undergoing surgery on his left knee back in December but has now recovered and Liverpool have no concerns over his long-term fitness.
Manchester City, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid have also been linked with the highly-rated 6ft defender but the Reds are ready to act fast in the hope of winning the battle for his services.
Physically strong, comfortable in possession and dominant in the air, Papadopoulos has jumped above Swansea City's Ashley Williams and Ajax's Toby Alderweireld on the club's wish list of centre-backs.
The ECHO understands Liverpool are no longer interested in Williams with the Welsh club's £12million price tag for a player who turns 29 in August leading to them pursuing other options which provide better value.
As well as making a move for Papadopoulos, boss Brendan Rodgers is keen to further bolster his defensive options by completing deals for Manchester City's Kolo Toure and Sporting Lisbon's Tiago Ilori.
Ivory Coast international Toure is available on a free transfer as his contract at Eastlands expires this summer.
The 32-year-old is expected to hold talks with the Reds when he returns from Man City's end of season tour of America next week.
Rodgers is wary of the need to add more experience to his squad and believes Toure fits the bill.
Liverpool have been tracking Ilori for months and hoped the 20-year-old Portugal youth international centre-back would be available for around £1.5million.
However, having established himself in Sporting's first team towards the end of the campaign his value has increased.
It is likely to take a bid of around £3million to convince the cash-strapped Portuguese outfit to sell.
While Ilori is viewed as one for the future, Liverpool believe Papadopoulos would be able to come in and make an immediate impact in the Premier League.
Papadopoulos started his career at home town club Svoronos Katerinis before signing for Olympiacos in 2007. When he made his first-team debut at the age of 15 he became the youngest player to every play in the Greek league.
He earned rave reviews for his performances for both Olympiakos and Greece Under-21s and in the summer of 2010 he moved to Schalke for around £2million.
During his three years in Germany his stock has continued to rise across Europe and he helped them reach the last 16 of this season's Champions League.
Back in August, Zenit St Petersburg had a £16million offer for Papadopoulos accepted but the player rejected the opportunity to join the wealthy Russian club and penned a new deal until 2016.
Schalke finished fourth in the Bundesliga last weekend to qualify for the Champions League but once again they are willing to sell Papadopoulos and Liverpool believe the Greece international would jump at the chance to make the switch to Anfield.