By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Watford are eyeing up a triple swoop for Liverpool stars Joe Allen, Jordan Ibe and Jerome Sinclair, Football Insider sources understand.
Allen and Ibe are fringe players under Jurgen Klopp, while teenager Sinclair is set to leave Anfield in the summer when his contract expires.
Watford are keen to take advantage of the new Premier League broadcasting deal that comes into effect in August by strengthening a squad that has exceeded expectations this season.
A Liverpool source has told Football Insider that the Hertfordshire club are keeping close tabs on Allen, Ibe and Sinclair and will test the Merseysiders’ resolve to hang on to the trio.
Klopp has spoken highly of Allen during his five-month tenure but the Wales international has started only 10 of the manager’s 38 matches in charge at Anfield and has admitted his future at the club is in doubt.
The 26-year-old has only 15 months remaining on his contract and talks have yet to take place about extending a deal that expires in June 2017.
Ibe, 20, has also endured a difficult season at Liverpool and England under-21 manager Gareth Southgate claimed during the international break that the winger had suffered a loss of confidence in recent months.
The former Wycombe player has failed to reach the heights of the final months of last season and has slipped behind Liverpool’s more experienced players in the pecking order for attacking places.
Meanwhile, Sinclair’s contract expires at the end of the season and he has rebuffed attempts from the Merseysiders to extend his deal.
There has been interest from the 19-year-old from clubs in Spain and Italy, as well as Aston Villa, but Watford are now leading the race for Birmingham-born Sinclair, who joined Liverpool when he was 14.
In other Liverpool transfer news, reserve keeper Adam Bodgan will be allowed to leave Merseyside in the summer following a series of high-profile blunders.