Liverpool are reportedly keeping tabs on FC Rostov striker Sardar Azmoun, who has been dubbed the "Iranian Lionel Messi" following a string of glittering performances at club and international level.
According to Dominic King of the Daily Mail, the Russia-based forward is being watched by the Reds ahead of a potential January swoop for a player who was being monitored by Everton during the 2015-16 campaign.
Azmoun first moved to the Russian Premier League in 2013 after joining Rubin Kazan from native club Sepahan. The 21-year-old then joined Rostov on loan in February 2015 before his stay became permanent in July of this year.
The youngster has scored 17 goals in 55 appearances for Rostov, per Transfermarkt, but as ESPN FC's Michael Yokhin attested, perhaps his most impressive goalscoring record has come during his service to Iran:
Michael Yokhin @Yokhin
Sardar Azmoun scored 16 goals in 22 matches for Iran. The best average ever, better than Ali Daei. And he's just 21. Destined for greatness?2016-10-11 16:41:50
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp could have need of January reinforcements in attack, too, considering Danny Ings will no longer be available for selection after suffering a season-ending knee injury.
Tony Barrett of Joe.co.uk confirmed it is a winter deal the Merseysiders are interested in as they look to replenish their forces and ensure their terrific start to the 2016-17 season doesn't go interrupted:
Tony Barrett @TonyBarrett
Liverpool are tracking FC Rostov forward Sardar Azmoun. At this stage he's being watched as they consider their options ahead of January.2016-11-8 22:33:18
Liverpool's front three of Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane have been in deadly form this season as the Reds have fired to the summit of the Premier League standings.
According to Russian football journalist Artur Petrosyan, Azmoun would also be a useful asset in that regard, earning comparisons to Barcelona superstar Messi en route to the fame he's enjoying at Rostov:
Artur Petrosyan @arturpetrosyan
Azmoun could play any role in #LFC front three. Quick, good eye for goal, not greedy, tireless, pressing. Qs over mental strength though.2016-11-8 23:37:24
The attacker is already used to scoring against elite competition, too, and recently netted his side's only goal in their 2-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
Add to that account his goals against Ajax and Anderlecht in Champions League qualification, and claims regarding Azmoun's potential begin to look a lot more justified.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are reportedly one of five Premier League clubs interested in a move for Charlton Athletic's Ademola Lookman, with Everton manager Ronald Koeman understood to be among his suitors.
That's according to the Mirror (h/t David Wright of the Daily Express), and after scoring five goals in 17 appearances this season, 19-year-old Lookman is once again attracting big attention.