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Club “waiting patiently” over Liverpool loan deal as manager confirms “daily” talks

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Blackburn are hoping to sign Liverpool midfielder Leighton Clarkson on a season-long loan, with manager Tony Mowbray “waiting patiently” for a deal to progress.

Clarkson has been one of the most-used players throughout the Reds’ pre-season so far, clocking 149 minutes over four appearances, with only 12 outfielders featuring more.

The diminutive midfielder has caught the eye with his aggression and passing ability, but could find himself on the periphery now Fabinho has returned to the fold.

Fabinho started ahead of the teenager in the second friendly against Bologna on Thursday, and with Jordan Henderson and Thiago due to return to action next week, Clarkson’s opportunities could become increasingly limited.

That is not to downplay his impact while part of the Liverpool first team, though, and Jurgen Klopp is a keen admirer of the playmaker – which could influence a decision over his short-term future this summer.

Born and raised in the Blackburn area, Clarkson is attracting interest from Rovers, who are hoping to strike a series of loan deals to bolster Mowbray’s squad for 2021/22.

GRÖDIG, AUSTRIA - Friday, July 23, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp shakes hands with Leighton Clarkson after a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and FSV Mainz 05 at the Greisbergers Betten-Arena. (Pic by Jürgen Faichter/Propaganda)

Speaking to LancsLive, the Blackburn manager alluded to “daily” talks over moves for Clarkson and Man City midfielder Tommy Doyle, with the availability of key players at their parent clubs forcing them to “wait patiently.”

“We’re talking to a lot of clubs, talking about various players that we like and have identified,” he explained.

“It’s a bit of a drip-down scenario for us really.

“The clubs that we’re talking to, some big clubs in the north-west and their big players have been away, either in the Copa America or European Championship and they are just coming back.

“So they’ve been using their younger players to earn game time and fulfil their fixtures.

“We’re waiting patiently but conversations have been had on a daily basis and the minimum we would do is fill our five loans up over the next three weeks.”

2FMCN27 Ewood Park, Blackburn, Lancashire, UK. 8th May, 2021. English Football League Championship Football, Blackburn Rovers versus Birmingham City; Harvey Elliott of Blackburn Rovers celebrates after scoring to give his side a 4-2 lead after 83 minutes Credit: Action Plus Sports/Alamy Live News

The situation Mowbray detailed certainly applies to Clarkson, who has been filling in for the likes of Fabinho and Henderson during their time away after summer internationals.

Whether the youngster ultimately makes the move to Ewood Park remains to be seen, but the fruitful relationship built up between the clubs – who are just 40 miles apart – in recent years could aid the process.

Mowbray played a key role in the development of Harvey Elliott during his loan at Blackburn last season, and if a similar pathway could be laid for Clarkson, it would be difficult for Liverpool to turn that down.

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