Liverpool player locked in transfer battle: Three clubs keen on securing deal

Liverpool academy midfielder Yan Dhanda is attracting interest from three Championship clubs, but it is unclear whether a loan deal will be sanctioned.

Dhanda joined the Reds from West Brom in 2013, at the age of 14, and has spent the last four years rising through the ranks at Kirkby.

Now fully fledged member of Neil Critchley’s Liverpool U23s squad, Dhanda could expect to take up a key role under his former U18s manager in 2017/18.

But according to the Mail, he could instead spend the campaign in the English second tier.

Nottingham Forest, Leeds United and Bristol City are all credited with an interest in the 18-year-old, who can play in a variety of positions across the midfield and in attack.

The youngster is said to be “keen to play more competitive football,” as well as harbouring “hopes to convince [Jurgen] Klopp he can make a breakthrough at Liverpool.”

However, it remains to be seen whether Dhanda is permitted to leave on a temporary basis this summer, as the contract he signed in 2015 will expire at the end of the season.

While it is bold given he has no first-team experience, a loan move would no doubt benefit Dhanda.

Joining Forest, for example, would likely provide the teenager with more of a chance of regular game time in the Championship, with 11 players aged 21 or under featuring for Mark Warburton’s side last season.

Klopp has regularly spoken about the Liverpool staff’s plan to retain a strong core at U23 level this season, as with the last, and only four players have left on loan so far.

Of those, only goalkeeper Shamal George, who joined Carlisle United on an initial six-month deal, can harbour hope of turning out for the first team in the future.

And allowing Dhanda to depart would deprive Critchley of one of his focal figures and a player with the potential to be a leading talent in Premier League 2 this term.

Having already trained with the senior squad last season, Dhanda can hold an ambition to stake a claim under Klopp in the future, and speaking last month the German said “hopefully he can come through.”

Klopp also alluded to Dhanda’s Indian heritage, and it would certainly be a milestone if he made the step up to the first team in the future.

Speaking shortly after his move to Merseyside in 2013, Dhanda said: “My long-term ambition would be to get into the first team before I am 20.”

It may take signing a new contract before he departs, as is often the case, but a loan move this summer may aid Dhanda in bridging the gap between Kirkby and Melwood.