Liverpool and Zenit St. Petersburg are locked in a battle to sign Fiorentina midfielder Juan Manuel Vargas, according to Italian daily Corriere dello Sport . The running is being made by Russian Premier League champions Zenit, with the club’s Italian coach Luciano Spalletti desperate to take the 28-year-old to St. Petersburg; Spalletti is well aware of Vargas’ qualities from his extensive coaching career in Serie A. However, Liverpool have a long-standing interest in Vargas and are believed to have also registered their desire to snap up the Peru international when La Viola are ready to cash in. And that is expected to be in the summer, given that Vargas’ current contract at Fiorentina expires in 2013, meaning it will soon have just one year left to run. Vargas joined La Viola in 2008 after a stint with Catania. He is extremely versatile and is able to operate as a full back if needed, though has excelled in a more advanced attacking midfield role in Serie A. Real Madrid came close to signing the Peru star before Fiorentina won the race for his signature and more clubs could yet join Liverpool and Zenit in the race for the player. Where Vargas might prefer to end up is unclear, but Zenit will be able to offer the midfielder Champions League football, while Liverpool appear destined for the Europa League next season. Vargas has featured 21 times in Serie A this season for Fiorentina, providing six assists in the process.