Rodgers ready to ramp up Hughes interest as Liverpool fight United for Derby kid

By John Edwards

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EXCLUSIVE

Liverpool have emerged as Manchester United's biggest rivals for Will Hughes after Brendan Rodgers installed the teenage prospect as his top target for the January transfer window.

Already linked with Hughes, along with several other Barclays Premier League clubs, Liverpool are now ready to grasp the initiative, with Rodgers poised to ask for the necessary funding to land Derby's England Under 21 midfielder when the market opens again.

Derby manager Steve McClaren effectively sounded the starting gun for a scramble to sign Hughes in the new year by admitting the Championship club could not hope to hold on to him much longer.

Top target: Liverpool and Manchester United want Derby's Will Hughes (centre) in the January window

Top target: Liverpool and Manchester United want Derby's Will Hughes (centre) in the January window

Derby may demand as much as 15million for the 18-year old, and while Liverpool will try and negotiate that down towards single figures, Rodgers will urge his board to pull out all the stops to bring him to Anfield.

Rodgers was interested in the left-sided attacker before the last window shut and is now ready to spring into action, after McClaren reluctantly concluded that cashing in on one of the country's brightest talents was the only way to finance his own transfer plans.

Though United have carefully monitored Hughes's progress this season, there are some misgivings within Old Trafford about the likely asking price and whether his slight build might count against him.

The fee could also be an issue for Liverpool, but Rodgers is said to be 'desperately keen' to see off his Premier League rivals and land an emerging talent he feels would be perfectly suited to his style of play.

Lined up: Anfield manager Brendan Rodgers (left) hopes to have Hughes on Merseyside this season

Lined up: Anfield manager Brendan Rodgers (left) hopes to have Hughes on Merseyside this season

 


The comments below have not been moderated.

amazing when a passport can double a players price, and the EPL wonder why cheaper equal and better players are coming in droves.

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He's a massive Liverpool fan so he'll end up there, he's a good player and would fit into the style they play.

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Best hope that this is all paper talk and that nobody buys him. Derby will need players of his potential if McLaren lives up to his own potential and gets Derby promoted. Brendan and David - look elsewhere please!

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what became of dan smith . And englands future jack robinson i feel if liverpool signed this kid he will end up like Robinson and Smith

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Hardly an exclusive. Liverpool have been interested in him for some time.

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21! He looks about 51 on that picture.

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Cant say iv seen much of this boy watched a couple of games when he has played and then just highlights. the highlight show glimpses of real talent but the games i have watched iv seen him been thrown around the pitch. I feel he should spend another season in championship and in the gym beefing up a little and then he would be ready for the EPL

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Utd4ever utube

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More overpriced potential. Liverpool need to look back at the recent past and see how much money huge amounts of it we've blown trying to chase cheaper players we hope one day will improve enough to actually play in the side. Coutinho and strurridge are not the norm. Use all your money buy an established player who will walk into the team, we spend a fortune without actually improve the playing 11 year after year.

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He'll choose Liverpool. Brent>Smeagol

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