Liverpool midfielder Cameron Brannagan is expected to leave the club on a permanent deal in the summer, after his loan spell with Fleetwood Town.
The 20-year-old joined the Trawlermen for the rest of the season in the closing stages of the January transfer window, after successfully recovering from an ankle injury.
While he had broken through to the first-team setup last term, making nine appearances in all competitions, Brannagan dropped back down to the Liverpool U23s for 2016/17.
This served as a warning sign to the youngster, and according to the Liverpool Echo‘s James Pearce, he could move on shortly.
“It’s likely that Brannagan will move on permanently in the summer,” he said in a Q&A on Wednesday.
“I think he’s got loads of talent and will go on to have a decent career but the fact that Klopp overlooked him in the first half of the season was telling.
“[Ovie] Ejaria jumped above him in the pecking order.
“There was talk of a permanent deal for Brannagan in the January window but that went quiet after he suffered ankle ligament damage in December.”
Brannagan has made two appearances for Fleetwood so far, including his full debut for the club in Tuesday night’s 2-1 victory at home to Bradford City, playing the first hour at Highbury.
Fleetwood are pushing for promotion to the Championship this season, though whether Brannagan stays with them in 2017/18 remains to be seen.
But Pearce believes it is likely that the talented youngster makes his permanent move to a club in the English second tier in the summer, likely due to previous interest.
Both Wigan Athletic and Bolton Wanderers, another League One promotion hopeful, have approached Liverpool over Brannagan’s availability in the past.
Wigan even made a £1 million bid for the midfielder last summer, but this was rejected by the Reds, who at the time were only looking to discuss a loan deal.
Brannagan was believed to be in the frame for another contract at Liverpool last May, just seven months after extending his terms with the club, so his drop down the ranks comes as something of a mystery.
But with the likes of Ejaria and Marko Grujic ahead of him in Klopp’s pecking order, a summer move for Brannagan could be wise—and he’ll no doubt thrive elsewhere.