Rangers looking to hijack Liverpool move for Colombian centre-back as preliminary talks take place

Wilson Morelo, Kevin Mantilla Sante Fe

Rangers are reportedly trying to beat Premier League clubs, particularly Liverpool, to the sign of a highly-rated Colombian defender this summer, with preliminary discussions already taking place.

Independiente Santa Fe centre-back Kevin Mantilla has recently emerged as a top target for Jurgen Klopp, with the Anfield chief looking to plug holes in his increasingly leaky Liverpool defence this summer.

Indeed, there have been suggestions that the Reds have also had talks with the player’s representatives.

The 19-year-old has emerged on the radars of European clubs following after starring at the South American Under-20 Championship earlier this month.

And while the youngster normally lines up centrally, he also has the ability to play at right-back.

Klopp loves that sort of versatility in his squad, making Mantilla a tempting proposition for the Liverpool boss.

However, Rangers are looking to scupper any hopes the Reds have of striking a deal by potentially hijacking the transfer.

A report from Football Insider has revealed interest from the Ibrox outfit, as they lay the foundations for a summer swoop.

Colombia starlet shines on big stage

Mantilla started all nine of Colombia matches at the South American Under-20 Championship, in which they finished third.

And scouts from around the world were watching the event, given that the tournament is viewed as a real hotbed of young South American talent.

It just remains to be seen whether Rangers can beat off Liverpool’s challenge to sign the youngster.

The Reds are back in action on Saturday evening when they head to Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

A victory for Klopp’s men will be vital to boost their slim hopes of Champions League football next season, especially with Manchester United and Newcastle facing off in the Carabao Cup final, while Tottenham are hosting their normal nemesis Chelsea.

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