‘We’re talking to Liverpool…’ – Manager says his club are ‘exploring’ move for Reds attacker

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Oxford United manager Liam Manning has said that his club are ‘exploring’ a potential move for Liverpool attacker Max Woltman.

The 19-year-old has been on trial with the League One side recently, playing in a pre-season win over Swansea, and the U’s boss has confirmed that talks ae ongoing over the possibility of a formal deal being struck with the Reds.

The 37-year-old said in relation to the forward (via Oxford Mail): “We’re talking to Liverpool and exploring what that looks like. It’s more of a development project than it is coming in and impacting the team straight away.

“In terms of the personality he was and the character he showed, and some of the quality he showed in glimpses, I think he’s the type of player that fits how we want to play.

“When you look at competition in his position with Ruben [Rodrigues] and Billy [Bodin], what we don’t have is the next one coming up under that. It depends on what the deal looks like, that’s the big bit. It’s all on what the deal looks like ultimately.”

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While other youngsters such as Ben Doak, Conor Bradley, James McConnell and Jarell Quansah have been brought with the first team for Liverpool’s pre-season preparations, Woltman wasn’t included on the trips to Germany or Singapore.

That would indicate that he’s not in Jurgen Klopp’s thinking at the moment, so he could certainly benefit from going out on loan to somewhere that he’d get regular game-time, having had a temporary spell at Doncaster for a portion of the 2022/23 campaign.

How regularly he’d feature for Oxford if he agrees a move to the Kassam Stadium is debatable, with Manning’s comments suggesting that the teenager wouldn’t be an automatic starter.

Liverpool would hope that Woltman won’t be warming the bench all the time if he’s loaned out, but should he end up with the U’s, the loss of either of their two senior centre-forwards for whatever reason may open the door for him to get a run of games and prove his worth.

The attacker turns 20 later this month, so he’s at the stage where he’d want to be getting plenty of senior game-time over the upcoming season.

If Manning could give him that at Oxford, we’d be all for him going to the League One side for the 2023/24 campaign.

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