Liverpool are reportedly eyeing up a move for Real Betis midfielder Dani Ceballos, with reports in Spain suggesting that the 19-year-old is looking progressively less likely to sign a new deal with the La Liga side.
According to Diario de Sevilla – a local publication – Betis manager Pepe Mel, formerly of West Brom, is facing a huge battle to keep the youngster out of the hands of the European elite – with Roma also eyeing a potential deal.
The Daily Express reported on Tuesday that the Reds were already in talks to sign the player, and while such claims look to be somewhat premature, Diario have at least confirmed that there is an interest there.
Ceballos, who is a Spanish Under-21 international, has made 35 league appearances for the Betis first-team and scored five goals. He played an integral part in helping them bounce straight back to the Spanish top flight last season and is now preparing to face the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid at Benito Villamarin.
Unsurprisingly, his talents have attracted the interest of Liverpool, who have previously had a habit of picking up young players from Spain – particularly during the Rafael Benitez era.
Diario tell us that Betis are determined to hold on to the player but are running out of time to convince him to sign a new contract, with the likes of Liverpool eyeing up a 12 million euro buyout clause – which equates to around £8.5m.
Ceballos is predominately a central midfield player but he’s also capable of playing on the right or in a more advanced position just behind the striker. That sort of versatility, as well as his age and potential sell-on value, would no doubt appeal to Rodgers.
While there is no specific evidence which suggests we have any more than a passing interest, the fact that he fits so well with our standardised transfer philosophy means that this could be one to watch over the final couple of weeks of the window, which slams shut at the end of this month.