Liverpool have identified Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon as their first-choice left-back target this summer, according to a report.
The Liverpool Echo claim manager Jurgen Klopp will sanction a concerted push for the highly rated teenager, who was last week named in the PFA Championship team of the season even though he is only 16.
It is said that Sessegnon is Klopp’s first choice to replace Alberto Moreno in the squad this summer and provide competition at left-back for regular James Milner.
The Liverpool Echo report that Sessegnon pre-agreed a deal with Fulham before the start of this season which is due to be signed on 1 July.
If he puts pen to paper on the contract then Liverpool would have to pay the Cottagers a hefty transfer fee as opposed to just compensation for his development if he was only a scholar.
Sessegnon, dubbed the ‘next Gareth Bale’, has also attracted interest from elite Premier League clubs Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City.
But that has not dampened Liverpool’s enthusiasm for the youngster, or dented their confidence that they will sign him during the forthcoming window.
The Merseysiders have also been linked with Hull’s Andrew Robertson but the Liverpool Echo report that Klopp’s preferred option is Sessegnon.
The manager regards strengthening in the left-back position as pivotal as he prepares to sell the inconsistent Moreno during the summer window.
Sessegnon, who can play at both left-back and on the left wing, has made elite clubs sit up and take notice with his precocious Championship displays this season.
He has scored seven goals from 28 first-team matches in the campaign, including two in Fulham’s stunning 3-1 win at Newcastle last month, and also weighed in with three assists, remarkable tallies for a player who is not only foremost a defender but also one who is so young.
There is not so much a queue to sign Sessegnon, as a stampede. Ridiculously talented and precocious, he would be a marvellous signing for any club whose manager is willing to put his faith in youth and hone them on the training pitch. Liverpool and Sessegnon appear an ideal fit. Klopp is renowned for his development of outstanding young players, and there appears no limit to what Sessegnon can achieve. Fulham have known for some time they have a remarkable young player on their hands and the big boys have been beating a path to the Cottage to try and persuade the youngster to up sticks. A huge sum could still pass hands to push the deal through but, for a team crying out for a long-term left-back option, this could be a fabulous signing for Liverpool.