Aston Villa are ready to test Liverpool's resolve with a £15m bid for academy product Curtis Jones, who is struggling for minutes under Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.
The 20-year-old has shown flashes of brilliance since bursting onto the scene on Merseyside, but he has fallen down the pecking order this year, despite the departure of Georginio Wijnaldum. The midfielder was left out of the matchday squad for the 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Saturday, leading to further questions over his future.
And The Sun report that Villa are prepared to offer Jones a way out in a £15m deal, as they look to secure even more depth following the departure of Jack Grealish.
The former Villa captain left his boyhood club to join Manchester City in a £100m move this summer, but Dean Smith has signed Leon Bailey, Danny Ings and Emi Buendia to replace the goals and assists lost from the team.
They also tried to sign Arsenal starlet Emile Smith Rowe, but the creative midfielder opted to sign a new long-term deal in north London instead.
Villa are not satisfied with the options at Smith's disposal, backed up by their indifferent start to the new season. A defeat to newly-promoted Watford and a draw with Brentford means the Villans have picked up four points from a possible nine, from three games that they would have hoped to win.
That has led them to the pursuit of Jones, who, on the evidence of the opening three games of the season, won't get a look in at Anfield. The return of Harvey Elliott from his loan spell has pushed Jones further out of the picture, with the teenager starting the last two Premier League matches.
Liverpool might not want to lose one of their academy prodigies on a permanent deal, but Villa will look to force their hand with a £15m offer.