Liverpool recruitment chiefs have set their sights on Arsenal rising star Bruno Martinelli, Football Insider can reveal.
The Premier League leaders are assessing long-term potential transfer options and have had their attention grabbed by the 18-year-old forward.
A Liverpool source has told Football Insider that their recruitment team, led by director of football Michael Edwards, are on the trail of Martinelli after his startling progress in his debut English campaign.
The Champions League holders and runaway Premier League leaders are planning to keep close tabs on the tenager in the second half of the campaign.
Martinelli has made a huge impact at Arsenal since signing last summer from Brazilian club Ituano for around £6million.
A versatile forward who can play down the middle or on either flank, he was phased into the first team in the Europa League group stages and the EFL Cup.
He scored seven goals from seven appearances in those two competitions, including a double against Liverpool in the remarkable late-October EFL tie that ended 5-5 before the Reds went through on penalties.
Martinelli did not make his first Premier League start until December – scoring against West Ham – and even a hamstring injury over Christmas has barely interrupted his progress.
The Brazilian has netted in each of Arsenal’s last two games, including the first equaliser in last night’s 2-2 thriller against Chelsea.
Liverpool are unlikely to be the only leading European club casting covetous eyes at Martinelli.
Arsenal may need to offer the young Gunner an improved contract to ward off his suitors ahead of the summer.