Liverpool are reportedly looking to beat competition from the Premier League and across Europe for Lyon wonderkid Mathis Rayan Cherki.
Despite only turning 16 in August, Cherki – who has been capped for France at youth level but can also play for Algeria – has, remarkably, already his made Ligue 1 and Champions League debuts for Lyon.
The young attacker, who can play anywhere across the front line, made his first-team debut in October in a 0-0 draw with Dijon and came off the bench in last week’s Champions League defeat to Zenit.
And his style of play has been likened to that of former Lyon academy alumni Hatem Ben Arfa and Karim Benzema.
Liverpool have placed a major emphasis on trying to recruit the next crop of top young talent and are hoping to beat the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Real Madrid to the signing of Cherki.
Although the young forward only signed a contract in the summer that ties him to Lyon until 2022, 90min reports that club president Jean-Michel Aulas knows he is now fighting a losing battle to keep hold of the rising star and could sanction an exit in January – if the deal is right for the club.
But dealing with Aulas is a tricky process, as Liverpool found out when they were trying to sign Nabil Fekir, while the likes of Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern Munich and Ajax are also rumoured to have shown an interest in Cherki – as the race hots up to land one of European football’s brightest prospects.