Liverpool have moved to sign Man City‘s 16-year-old academy right-back Diego Lattie, beating a host of Premier League clubs to his signature.
Lattie had been with City since the age of nine, but with the Manchester side not offering him a new contract, Liverpool have secured his signing.
According to the Liverpool Echo the Reds have edged out Man United, Everton, Norwich City, Stoke City, Sunderland and Aston Villa in the pursuit of Lattie, who made his debut for the England U17s in August.
Though born in Stockport, Lattie is a boyhood Liverpool fan, and this is said to have played a big part in negotiations, with the right-back signing a three-year deal.
Lattie will join up with the Liverpool U16s immediately, before moving up to Neil Critchley‘s U18s side in pre-season.
There, he will challenge Kane Lewis and Trent Alexander-Arnold for a right-back berth, though the latter could make the move up to Michael Beale’s U21s.
Liverpool’s move for Lattie comes after Alex Inglethorpe, the club’s academy director, emphasised a focus on quantity over quality.
“The changes started last season. We had around 235 or 240 before, it’s just under 200 boys now and that figure will head south still,” he said in November.
“The focus here now isn’t on having a specific number in each age group, it’s around wanting a specific level of quality in each age group.”
Liverpool’s move for Lattie is ostensibly made with this in mind, while the lack of a compensation fee required is a major bonus for the Reds.