Liverpool midfielder Kevin Stewart could find himself in demand this summer, with newly promoted Brighton said to be ‘in pursuit’.
Stewart has played a peripheral role for the Reds this season, with just nine appearances in all competitions and 16 minutes in the Premier League.
The 23-year-old signed a new four-year contract back in November, but his continued absence from Jurgen Klopp‘s matchday squad has hinted at a summer departure.
And while Stewart is currently recovering from surgery on a groin injury, he looks likely to be preparing to leave Merseyside on a long-term basis.
According to the Telegraph, Chris Hughton’s Premier League new boys are interested in taking Stewart to the Amex Stadium as they plot for a successful maiden campaign at the top.
However, Liverpool are reportedly insistent it would take £10 million to secure Stewart’s move to Falmer, as they hold firm on their valuation.
“Klopp is in no particular rush to sell the player unless a significant offer is table,” Chris Bascombe writes.
“Or if Stewart himself seeks a new challenge where he can be assured a more regular starting place.”
While the Reds are set to compete in either the Champions League or the Europa League next season, and therefore require a bigger squad, Stewart may be advised to move on.
Turning 24 in September, Stewart finds himself at odds with Klopp’s plans at present and faces major competition for a starting berth in the German’s midfield.
Liverpool already have Jordan Henderson, Emre Can, Georginio Wijnaldum, Adam Lallana, Lucas Leiva, Marko Grujic and Ovie Ejaria as options in the middle of the park.
And with Klopp targeting another midfielder, namely RB Leipzig’s Naby Keita, Stewart’s opportunities will continue to be limited despite a busier schedule.
There could be an opening in Brighton‘s squad this summer, with Dale Stephens still yet to agree an extension on a contract that expires on July 1, and Stewart could hope for more game time in Sussex.
For Liverpool, if Stewart departs they will be looking to seal the best deal possible, taking inspiration from last summer’s excellent business.
Jordon Ibe (£15 million) and Brad Smith (£6 million) both joined Bournemouth for seemingly inflated fees, while they also capitalised on Joe Allen (£13 million) moving to Stoke City.
While £10 million may seem a lofty valuation for a player so far down the pecking order, Stewart’s current contract clearly leaves the Reds in a strong position.