By Harry Sykes
Liverpool remain in pole position to sign Fulham wonderkid Ryan Sessegnon despite their transfer ban, Football Insider sources understand.
The Merseyside giants have been working to seal a deal for the highly rated left-back, 16, ahead of Tottenham and a string of other leading Premier League clubs.
A well placed recruitment source has told Football Insider that Liverpool are in the driving seat to secure the signature of the teenager this summer and are confident a deal can be sealed.
The Premier League giants remain confident even though they were slapped with a two-year transfer ban on signing academy players on Wednesday following a breach of Premier League rules.
The rule applies to all the best young players at other academies in England – a category to which Sessegnon emphatically belongs – but he will turn 17 before the next transfer window and will be able to sign a professional contract with Liverpool.
Football Insider revealed last month that Sessegnon had signed a pre-contract with Fulham as the club moved to protect themselves from Premier League predators ahead of the summer window.
He is still on a scholarship contract at the Championship outfit and cannot pen a professional deal until he turns 17 in May, but the pre-contract stipulates that he will sign a formal professional agreement at the earliest opportunity, which will be his birthday on 18 May.
This will enable Fulham to hold out for a higher fee for Sessegnon, who has also attracted interest from super clubs Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Bayern Munich.
But it has neither dampened Liverpool’s enthusiasm for the youngster, or dented their confidence that they will sign him during the forthcoming window.
The youngster, who can play at both left-back and on the left wing, has made leading clubs sit up and take notice with his precocious Championship displays this season.
He has scored six goals from 26 first-team matches in the campaign, including two in Fulham’s stunning 3-1 win at Newcastle last month, and also weighed in with three assists, remarkable tallies for a player who is not only foremost a defender but also one who is so young.
Football Insider verdict:
There is not so much a queue to sign Sessegnon, as a stampede. Ridiculously talented and precocious, he would be a marvellous signing for any club whose manager is willing to put his faith in youth and hone them on the training pitch. Liverpool and Sessegnon appear an ideal fit. Jurgen Klopp is renowned for his development of outstanding young players, and there appears no limit to what Sessegnon can achieve. Fulham have known for some time they have a remarkable young player on their hands and the big boys have been beating a path to the Cottage to try and persuade the youngster to up sticks. A huge sum could still pass hands to push the deal through, but for a team crying out for a long-term left-back option, this could be a fabulous signing for Liverpool.
In other Liverpool transfer news, a Bundesliga sensation reportedly on Liverpool’s radar has sealed a summer switch.