Liverpool look set to be dealt a huge blow in their long-term pursuit of Shakhtar Donetsk forward Alex Teixeira as Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande are reportedly set to swoop for the Brazilian.
Teixeira was heavily linked with the Reds during the January transfer window, and they put in a number of offers, but the Anfield outfit failed to meet Shakhtar's £57 million asking price, per MailOnline's Oliver Todd.
The expectation is that Liverpool will return for the 26-year-old again in the summer, but they may now not get the chance as Guangzhou are reportedly preparing a €50 million (£38 million) bid, per La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Luke Gardener in the Daily Star).
The Chinese transfer window does not close until Feb. 26 and Guangzhou have already been very active, recently signing striker Jackson Martinez from Atletico Madrid for £31 million, a record fee for an Asian club, per BBC Sport.
According to Italian outlet Calciomercato, Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning are also interested in signing Teixeira, and he is "expected to agree personal terms" soon.
During Liverpool's pursuit toward the end of the transfer window in England, Artur Petrosyan of Sport-Express.ru reported that Teixeira did not want to move to China:
Artur Petrosyan @arturpetrosyan
Shakhtar have received another bid for Alex Teixeira from China. The Brazilian doesn't want to go there. Nothing from #LFC so far.2016-2-1 11:09:57
However, recent transfers to the country by such high-profile players as Martinez, Ramires, Gervinho and Fredy Guarin may convince him to change his mind. As could a lucrative contract offer.
Teixeira is a very talented attacking player who would fit well into Liverpool's front line alongside his fellow Brazilians, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho, per Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe:
If he is still at Shakhtar in the summer then the Reds could well return for him and may finally get their man.
However, with plenty of time still remaining in the Chinese transfer window, Liverpool could be gazumped if Guangzhou or Jiangsu Suning succeed with their reported pursuits.
Elsewhere, Liverpool have been given a boost in their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the German club's chief executive revealed they would listen to offers for the 26-year-old.
Liverpool have long been linked with a move for Aubameyang and Hans-Joachim Watzke has now admitted that Dortmund could consider selling him but only if a huge offer came in, per Liam Corless in the Mirror:
"If an offer comes, then we need to discuss it. If it should go into the hundreds of millions, then we also need to talk to the player."
Aubameyang has established himself as one of the world's best strikers this season as he has netted 20 league goals in 19 games, per WhoScored.com.
Liverpool have often struggled in front of goal this season, and the addition of the Gabonese forward would undoubtedly give them a huge boost in attack, but seemingly only an eye-watering offer will give them a chance of signing him.