Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will move to complete the signing of Mohamed Salah from Basel, after talks with Reds owner John W. Henry.
Reports by David Maddock in the Mirror and Simon Jones in the Daily Mail claim Henry, who was at Anfield as Liverpool were held to a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa on Saturday, has told Rodgers to tie up the deal and further strengthen his side's options in attack.
The report in the Mail claims Liverpool "face competition from clubs in Spain and Germany, but Rodgers knows the midfielder is keen to join Liverpool if they can agree a fee."
Maddock adds for the Mirror:
It is his goalscoring potential from wide positions that has aroused Liverpool interest, with their manager determined to add goals from other positions to complement the contribution of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
But the sticking point could be the fee, with Liverpool determined not to be held to ransom for a winger who is about to enter the final two years of his contract.
The chance to sign a player as highly rated as Salah would come as a major boost for Rodgers, who had thought he would have to wait until the summer to add the player to his squad, as reported by Ben Smith of BBC Sport:
Liverpool are already the Premier League's second-highest goalscorers this season, with 53 in 22 games, although 33 of them have come from Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
The option to add more goalscoring threat to the wings, where Liverpool currently have Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling, Iago Aspas and the on-loan Victor Moses, would further enhance the club's hopes of a top-four finish.
Salah came to prominence after scoring twice in two games against Chelsea in the Champions League this season.
Although his record domestically for Basel could be improved—he has scored four goals in 18 appearances this season—his tally in Europe (two goals in six games), per Soccerbase, and for Egypt (17 in 26), per ESPN, shows that he knows where the goal is.
Rodgers has a good record in the January transfer window, and signed Sturridge and Coutinho at this point last year.
The addition of Salah would pay dividends for Liverpool if it helped them return to the Champions League and establish themselves in the Premier League's top four.
However, there should be a word of caution for Rodgers, who tried to field so many attacking options against Villa that he exposed his defence.
How he would get Sturridge, Suarez, Sterling, Coutinho and Salah into the same team would be interesting to witness, but it's undoubtedly a problem Rodgers would love to have.