Bobby Duncan is a rumoured target for both Porto and Benfica, and has been tipped for a loan-to-buy move in pursuit of a clearer route to first-team football.
Duncan joined the Reds from Man City for around £200,000 last summer, and scored 30 goals and laid on 16 assists in 43 games for the club’s academy sides in 2018/19.
He is expected to make the step up to then under-23s on a regular basis next season, with Bobby Adekanye and Glen McAuley among those to depart on the expiry of their contracts.
But with Rhian Brewster identified as the next striker to break through into Jurgen Klopp‘s first team, it is unlikely Duncan will join him as a senior option in the near future.
There are still avenues, of course, but he will be vying with Brewster as well as Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Divock Origi, and having just turned 18 there is a long road ahead.
According to Portuguese publication Record, however, Duncan could be given the opportunity to stake a claim elsewhere.
Both Porto and Benfica are credited with an interest in the goalscorer, and it is suggested they will approach Liverpool with a view to an initial loan deal.
This would include an option to buy, and Duncan is said to be open to a potential switch to Portugal as he may have more chances away from Merseyside.
Whether the report is to be believed is questionable, but there is precedent for young players looking to leave big English clubs to ply their trade overseas.
The pioneer of the current generation is Duncan’s former club-mate Jadon Sancho, who left City in 2017 to join Borussia Dortmund, and 19 he is now a regular with Klopp’s old side and a full England international.
Stephy Mavididi (Juventus), Keanan Bennetts (Borussia Monchengladbach), Josh Maja (Bordeaux), Daniel Crowley (Willem II), Chuba Akpom (PAOK), Jonathan Panzo (Monaco) and Chris Willock (Benfica) are further examples.
Reece Oxford (Gladbach and Augsburg), Reiss Nelson (Hoffenheim), Jonjoe Kenny (Schalke) and Liverpool’s own Sheyi Ojo (Stade de Reims) have also sought experience abroad on loan.
Brewster himself had considered a switch to the Bundesliga, and namely Gladbach, last summer, prior to agreeing a five-year contract with Liverpool.
And Duncan was linked with both Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig in November, just months after his arrival on Merseyside.
The teenager signed a three-year deal with the Reds in 2018, which commits him to the club for at least two more seasons.