Lille have edged ahead of Liverpool in the race to land French starlet Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, according to sources in France.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is on the lookout for a new centre-back as speculation continues to surround the long-term future of Sebastian Coates, who endured a nightmare 90 minutes during his side's 3-2 defeat to Oldham on Sunday.
Isimat-Mirin came through the academy at Valenciennes and made his first-team debut in 2010.
He has since established himself as a key first-team player at the Ligue 1 club and featured for the French Under-21 national side.
His displays have not gone unnoticed at home and abroad, and Lille are in talks with his current club over a possible transfer.
However, Lille have yet to agree a fee with their domestic rivals - leaving Liverpool with the chance to make a last-ditch bid to sign the defender.