Wednesday 10 July 2019 12:16, UK
Liverpool are set to win the race to sign Fulham's teenage midfielder Harvey Elliott, Sky Sports News understands.
The 16-year-old holds the record as the youngest player to play in the Premier League, and has attracted interest from top European clubs such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and RB Leipzig.
But he is now poised to join European champions Liverpool after his youth contract expired in June.
He has already rejected a new contract at Craven Cottage and has not been named in the club's new intake of scholars.
Sky Sports News understands Elliott will join up with Liverpool's first team, although FA rules dictate U17s cannot sign professional deals.
Liverpool will have to negotiate a compensation package with Fulham as the England U17 international is regarded as a highly-prized prospect.
He made his Fulham debut aged 15 in the Carabao Cup last September and became the youngest ever Premier League player in a 1-0 defeat against Wolves in May, when he was aged 16 years and 30 days.
Fulham boss Scott Parker, who gave Elliott his Premier League debut last season, described him as an 'unbelievable talent'.
Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O'Connor thinks this is another piece of business underlining Liverpool's focus on youth recruitment.
"When Sepp van den Berg was signed he was likened by the club to Joe Gomez in terms of his development, and that development can be seen elsewhere in the squad," he said.
"Marko Grujic was signed as a 19-year-old and has had successful loan spells at Cardiff and Hertha Berlin and is a big part of Liverpool's plans for the 2020-21 season.
"This development continues throughout the squad and can be seen in the progress made by every player from Sadio Mane to Virgil van Dijk, players who want to play for Jurgen Klopp - they can see the improvement and want it for themselves.
"This can also be seen clearly with Harvey Elliott and Van den Berg, who were both courted by other clubs but chose Liverpool, and Rhian Brewster who could have gone elsewhere looking for first-team football but trusted Klopp when he promised there would be a pathway to the first team."
"A focus on youth isn't a new development at Liverpool, Rafa Benitez was also keen on promoting young players but it appears that, right now, the development pathway is clearer than it has ever been."
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