By Emma Sanders
Bolton are leading the chase to sign Liverpool midfielder Cameron Brannagan on loan in January, according to a report.
The Liverpool Echo claim the 20-year-old is preparing to reach a loan agreement with a club in January and Bolton are currently in pole position to seal a deal.
The League One outfit are just one of several clubs interested and Phil Parkinson is keen to bring the youngster in to help his side achieve promotion to the Championship.
It is said that Jurgen Klopp is open to the idea of Brannagan gaining more first team experience before returning to Liverpool to challenge for a place in the first team squad.
Brannagan is a well-known figure at Liverpool and he has already made nine first team appearances, though he is yet to feature under Klopp this season.
He had a breakthrough season during the 2015-16 campaign and was a key player as the Reds’ reached the final of the league cup, narrowly losing out to Manchester City in February’s climax.
Brannagan hoped to agree a loan deal in the summer but agreements with Wigan broke down in August and he was unable to find an alternative before the window closed.
The midfielder has featured regularly for the under-23s this season but has faced tough competition for a first team opportunity given the arrivals of Giorginio Wijnaldum and Marko Grujic, as well as the rise of Ovie Ejaria and Kevin Stewart.
Liverpool’s demand that Brannagan should play 75% of first team fixtures was off-putting for Wigan but it is believed they will follow suit with a similar clause should Bolton agree terms.
Football Insider verdict:
If Brannagan can agree terms it will be an excellent decision for the youngster to go out on loan. He has looked assured when he has featured for the first team and would have no doubt been handed more opportunities if Liverpool were competing in Europe this season. He may wait to see if there are any Championship clubs keen to agree a deal before joining Bolton but nonetheless, a loan move would be ideal for the midfielder who is in need of regular first team action to enhance his development. He has the potential to challenge for a first team spot next season too with Lucas’ departure imminent.
In other Liverpool news, these are the three youngsters Klopp should turn to next.