EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke
Liverpool are plotting a move to sign Wigan centre-forward Joe Gelhardt as a replacement for Bobby Duncan, Football Insider understands.
The Champions League holders are looking to strengthen the attacking options in their Under-23s side after selling youthful goal machine Duncan to Fiorentina on transfer deadline day.
A Liverpool source has told Football Insider that the club have been keeping tabs on Gelhardt, 18, for some time and feel he could help fill the void by Duncan’s departure to Fiorentina in their youth ranks before challenging for a first-team spot in the near future.
The teenage forward is regarded as one of the most promising youngsters in the country after impressing for club and country over the last 18 months.
He made his Wigan first-team debut in August 2018 in the League Cup against Rotherham and he became the club’s youngest league player in three decades in April when making his Championship bow against Birmingham.
Gelhardt has also caught the eye on the international scene impressing for England’s Under-16 and Under-17s, scoring 12 goals in 15 appearances for the Under-17s.
Liverpool have shown in this summer’s transfer window they are looking to focus on youth development after bringing in Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliott.
The club’s recruitment team regard Gelhardt as a potential star in the making.
In other Liverpool news, it can be REVEALED that the club told a player to find a new team amid fears over dressing room harmony.