Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is set to hold talks with emerging defensive star Neco Williams following news of surprise interest from Real Madrid, according to a report.
Williams has been on Liverpool’s books since the age of six. And his rise through the ranks has made him a regular member of the Reds’ first-team squad in recent times.
The 19-year-old played a part in six of the Merseysiders’ games at the end of last season.
That was enough to secure a league winners’ medal. He later signed a new long-term deal at Anfield.
This season an injury to Trent Alexander-Arnold has given him extra opportunities.
Williams has started Liverpool’s last four games. And in two of those the Reds kept clean sheets.
He’s also become a regular at international level for Wales.
That’s thrust him further into the limelight and clubs around Europe are taking notice.
However, it’s a surprise to hear that Real Madrid are reported to be one of the teams circling.
And, in response, Klopp is said to be planning emergency talks with the youngster to make sure he remains focused on the job in hand at Liverpool.
Klopp reveals talks with Williams
Despite the promising displays, Williams remains very much a work in progress.
And Klopp recently revealed he’d had a heart-to-heart with the teenager after he hooked him at half-time in the 1-1 draw at Brighton.
“We had a long talk,” said the Liverpool boss. “We both thought he has so much more in the locker than he showed so far.
“That’s exactly the situation. When is the right moment for a young boy to come in?
“The season started after a really difficult summer with lockdown and nobody really knew when we can go on again. Then there was a short pre-season.
“Then, all of a sudden, Trent is out and he (Williams) has to play early and in the game wasn’t in the best shape in that moment. All players have these moments.
“When you are on the big stage, that’s not easy.
“He showed – and he can be so much better still – at least glimpses, and it’s all good.”
With plenty of nurturing still to be done, it would be a massive surprise if Williams thought someone other than Klopp would be the best man to do it.