Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp could be left in something of a quandary after Leeds were reported to be ready to rival Rangers for the loan signing of Ryan Kent this summer.
Kent has thrived in a breakout season on loan at Rangers, where he contributed six goals and nine assists from 42 matches under Steven Gerrard on his way to being named the SPFA Young Player of the Year.
Rangers want to keep him in Scotland thanks to his impressive displays, but they may face a battle, as several English sides are also lining up.
Premier League new boys Aston Villa were reported to be among those weighing up a move, but it is reported that Kent is just one of a number of wingers they are monitoring as they step up plans for the new season.
And now, according to the Daily Record, the biggest threat to Rangers will in fact come from long-term admirers Leeds United, with Marcelo Bielsa’s side also having made a move for the Liverpool winger.
Bielsa, who was linked with Kent last summer, is looking to increase his attacking options this summer. The club are looking to land exciting Wolves forward Helder Costa, while United have already been in touch with Manchester City over a deal to bring Jack Harrison back to West Yorkshire for a second season.
And it may be that any move for Kent will also pay dividends.
Following the success that Harry Wilson enjoyed with Derby, the report in the Record claims Klopp would prefer to send the youngster out on loan again, with a move to the Championship – under Bielsa’s expert tuition – very much to Liverpool’s liking.
The report notes that the Championship is arguably a more competitive league than the Scottish Premiership, and that Klopp hopes Kent can enhance his reputation at Elland Road, thus driving up his value and enhancing his chances of making it back at Anfield.
But a move to West Yorkshire would upset Liverpool legend Gerrard, who remains hopeful of convincing Kent to stay north of the border.
“We’re doing everything we can,” Gerrard stated recently. “We’re speaking to Liverpool, we’re in touch with Ryan’s representatives, we’ve made an offer and we’re hopeful but there’s nothing to say on it to confirm it, but for our supporters what I can do is guarantee we’re doing everything we can to try and get him in.”
Kent – who is yet to make a Premier League appearance – is keen on a move, admitting he is tired of the routine of changing clubs each year.
“I want to kick-start my career somewhere now,” he said. “I am tired of changing clubs each year, I want to settle down somewhere.
“Liverpool have been good to me, but the enjoyment factor of going back there each year and doing well in pre-season and going back out on loan, it is a repetitive cycle.”
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