Liverpool started negotiations with €20m-rated Algeria international

The Merseyside giants are closing in on the signing of Aissa Mandi from Real Betis, according to reports. Algeria international has been identified as a replacement for Dejan Lovren, who called time on his six-year spell at Anfield to join Zenit St Petersburg last week.

The agreement generated nearly £11m for Liverpool and the Reds are on the battle for more defensive cover with Aissa emerging as an affordable transfer option. The Merseyside giants have lodged a £9m offer for Mandi, who has only a year left on his current deal.

The 28-year-old defender has a buy-out clause of £25m, but Real Betis are prepared to cash in on the player rather than lose him for nothing next summer.

La Liga club have already responded to Reds offers and told the Premier League champions transfer chief Michael Edwards if they increase their offer by £1.8m then the Algerian defender is theirs. Aissa played 30 games for Real Betis this campaign and is an established international with the national team.

Reds are not expected to make any expensive signings this summer, although the Merseyside club have repeatedly been linked with a cut-price deal for Bayern Munich star Thiago.

The Reds have been tipped to focus their efforts on strengthening their back-up options in defence and in the front-line. Aissa can also play at right-back and his versatility would be a plus for the German tactician with 19-year-old Neco Williams the only cover for Trent Alexander-Arnold.

It is believed the La Liga could side sanction any sale as the club look to raise funds to allow new manager Manuel Pellegrini money to bring in his own targets.