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Liverpool hope to sign Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet for £8million in the next week.

The Merseyside club have bid £7m but the Wearsiders are holding out for nearer £10m, with the clubs likely to reach a compromise.

Manager Brendan Rodgers has taken the initiative as speculation continues to link his current No 1 Pepe Reina with a switch to Barcelona, where Victor Valdes is refusing to sign a new deal.

Valdes has just a year left on his contract and is tipped for a move to Monaco, who are making a push to acquire Europe’s top talent under the ownership of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev.

On a day when Liverpool were moved to brand an email reputedly sent by managing director Ian Ayre — suggesting Luis Suarez would soon sign for Real Madrid — a ‘complete fake’, Rodgers set out plans to improve his squad.

He said: ‘We need to build up the depth. I want to have people who might be disappointed because they’re not even on the bench. At the minute we don’t have that so it’s competition we want to get.

‘I don’t want a massive group. We want a tight group with a real core of 17 or 18 players who feel they should always be playing and then supported by a few of our top young talents. We haven’t got that. We have one or two on the sidelines but we need more than that.’

Belgium goalkeeper Mignolet is anxious to raise his profile ahead of next year’s World Cup in Brazil.

Mignolet is under pressure for his place in the national side from  Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois, who has been allowed to go on loan again to Atletico Madrid.

The greater exposure he will receive at Anfield is a big factor in Mignolet’s desire to quit the North East. He has proved himself one of the best performers in  the Premier League since joining from St-Truiden for £800,000 three years ago.

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