Wayne Rooney has admitted that Derby starlet Kaide Gordon looks set to join Liverpool.
Gordon is only 16 years old, but has already made his senior debut for Derby under Rooney’s management.
It recently emerged that the attacking midfielder is a target for Liverpool, a club Rooney was involved in several battles with during his time playing for Everton and Manchester United.
Reports suggested that Liverpool have made a £1m bid, with the fee potentially rising to £3m with add-ons.
Derby are struggling financially, so as much as they would like to keep their young talent, they may have little choice but to sell.
Indeed, manager Rooney has now admitted that it would be tough to stand in Gordon’s way as Liverpool close in on an agreement.
Asked if the teenager would be joining Liverpool, Rooney said: “It looks that way.
“Kaide is fantastic player. I brought him into the first team squad because he was showing the qualities I want.
“We offered him a deal which he didn’t take.
“As always when a player doesn’t sign up, if any of the big clubs in the Premier League come in, it is very difficult to deny the player that opportunity.
“There has been an offer for Kaide since before I have been in this role.
“He hasn’t signed it for whatever reasons. Liverpool have become aware of that and stepped in.
Hard to turn Liverpool down
“Once a team like Liverpool come in for one of your players it is hard to turn that down.
“For his development of course I would have liked him to stay at the club.
“But I understand once the champions of England come in and want to sign you, it is difficult to turn it down.”
Should the move go through, Gordon would become the latest youthful reinforcement at Anfield.
Liverpool have already signed Stefan Bajectic, 16, and Calum Scanlon, 15, this month, as they look to strengthen for the future more than the present.
Gordon could now follow those players to Anfield, where he will be able to sign a professional contract when he turns 17 in October.