After Watford’s initial bid for Liverpool academy star Jerome Sinclair was reportedly rebuffed, manager Quique Flores has confirmed his interest.
Sinclair looks set to leave Liverpool this month, with the 19-year-old said to have informed the club of his intentions with just six months left on his current contract.
Watford are among a number of clubs believed to be interested in signing the talented striker, and reports on Thursday morning suggest that the Hornets had seen their initial bid for Sinclair rejected.
Sami Mokbel of the Mail claims that the offer was below Liverpool’s valuation of £3 million.
Addressing reporters on Thursday, Flores made the unusual move of declaring his interest in Sinclair.
“Sinclair is the kind of player I like for Watford,” he explained.
“He has the qualities that we need. He has the skill and conditions to come here.”
While there has been speculation around Sinclair’s motives for leaving Liverpool, it has been stressed that his desire to move is based around securing first-team football.
Behind Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino, Divock Origi, Danny Ings and Christian Benteke at Liverpool, the former West Bromwich Albion youngster was unlikely to find this on Merseyside this season.
But with Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo representing one of the Premier League’s most effective strike partnerships in 2015/16, his chances of a starting role are slim.
Asked for his opinion on Sinclair’s potential move earlier in January, Jurgen Klopp remained optimistic, while warning the striker against harming his development.
“Like in normal life if it is not easy for you to be happy then no-one can help you but what we try to do is create a situation where younger players know it is not important to get the highest wages in your life in the first year of your career,” he said.
“It is more important to get the real education and that is what we want to try.”
Working under a manager such as Klopp should be a major attraction for highly talented young players like Sinclair.
Instead, the focus could shift to Liverpool U18s star Ben Woodburn, who made a timely reminder of his ability in Wednesday night’s 3-0 win over Cardiff U18s in the FA Youth Cup.
Elsewhere in the academy, the likes of Taiwo Awoniyi, Brooks Lennon and Toni Gomes will be looking to benefit from Sinclair’s departure.
In fostering a healthy atmosphere for youth development, Klopp will be hoping that one of these young stars can develop into a key player for the first team.
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