Harry Wilson is edging ever closer to sealing a summer loan move after being left out of Liverpool’s squad to face Bury on Saturday.
The Welshman was a notable absentee on the team sheet amid speculation linking him to a number of Championship clubs.
Interest in his services has somewhat exploded on the back of a superb spell with Hull City in which he scored seven times over the second half of last season.
Stoke City, Swansea City and Derby County have now emerged as the leading contenders to sign Wilson, reports the Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce.
All three clubs will be expected to push for promotion to the Premier League next season, with Derby having reached the play-offs in three of the last five Championship seasons.
Discussing Wilson’s absence against Bury, Jurgen Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com: “Harry has a lot of interest in him from different clubs, so no risk now.”
Wilson played an instrumental role in hoisting Hull away from a shock relegation and, in the process, marketed himself as a priority target for any side chasing top-flight football.
Liverpool’s faith in him was recently reflected by his reward of a new long-term deal at the club, following on from his extension back in January.
The 21-year-old has built himself a reputation as something of a prolific wide-man with an intelligence to his movement in behind and the vision to play the role of creator where necessary.
He started pre-season in admirable fashion with two cleverly-taken goals in Liverpool’s 7-0 win over non-league Chester.
Having excelled in a matter of months, Wilson threatens to wreak havoc over a full campaign in England’s second tier.