Liverpool are reportedly edging towards a deal for Sunderland midfielder Luca Stephenson as the club looks to strengthen its youth ranks.
Stephenson boasts a glowing reputation within the Black Cat’s youth system and has already been compared to Reds skipper and former Sunderland man Jordan Henderson.
The club’s pursuit of the 15-year-old marks the latest effort to bolster Barry Lewtas’ U18s options, with a number of Steven Gerrard’s star men in the younger age bracket from last season now pushing for increased opportunities with the U23s.
Losing Stephenson would undoubtedly serve as an inconvenient blow to a club in the process of displaying a growing dedication to youth development.
Liverpool are hoping to sign Stephenson for a compensation fee in the region of £200,000, according to the Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s rise to stardom and the widely-celebrated potential of Harry Wilson and Ben Woodburn has helped give Liverpool’s youth setup a powerful lure for young prospects.
A second-place finish for the U23s and a third-place finish for the U18s in their respective leagues last season reflect the plethora of youth talent Liverpool boast beneath Jurgen Klopp’s senior team.
Both teams could have quite easily finished top had a number of star U23 players not departed in search of first-team football in the January transfer window.
Liverpool maintained a focus on long-term youth success this summer, signing striker Bobby Duncan from Manchester City and and nabbing in-demand full-back Ki-Jana Hoever from Ajax.
The Reds also brought in Isaac Christie-Davies from Chelsea on a free transfer after the midfielder impressed whilst on trial with the U23s in March.