Liverpool are expected to finalise their third youth signing of the winter window with Derby County teenager Kaide Gordon set to sign in a deal worth up to £3 million.
The Reds moved swiftly to bring in 17-year-old centre-back Stefan Bajcetic and 15-year-old full-back Calum Scanlon at the end of last year, as their focus on youth continues.
Bajcetic was the final overseas arrival at Kirkby before the new Brexit rules came into place in the Premier League, which will now block the signing of players under the age of 18 from abroad.
Scanlon, though, was an addition capitalising on Birmingham City’s decision to streamline their academy, with Liverpool moving to bring in the England youth international with an eye on the future.
Gordon is a 16-year-old attacker who can operate both in the middle and out wide, and would likely arrive as part of Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s under-18s squad before making the step up to Barry Lewtas’ under-23s.
The deal is said to be worth an initial fee upwards of £1 million, with a series of add-ons potentially seeing this rise to £3 million, which is a considerable outlay for a player of his age.
Gordon has already made his first-team debut for the Rams, however, coming off the bench in the final minutes of a 4-0 win at Birmingham last month.
“He deserved it,” he said of Gordon’s first taste of senior football.
“I brought Kaide up with the first team initially to train with us for a week, to see how he reacted to it, to see how he was with that, and he was one of the best trainers.
“I kept him with us for a couple of weeks and he’s been training now at the same level, if not a better level, to a lot of the players.
“I spoke to the players and said ‘if you’re training hard and you train well, I’ll give you your chance’, and he deserves it.”
It should be stressed that, in terms of finances, academy signings rarely have an impact on plans for first-team acquisitions, and it is highly unlikely Liverpool are prioritising a deal for Gordon over a senior centre-back.