By Wayne Veysey

5th Feb, 2020 | 7:00pm

Sources: Liverpool set sights on pre-May deal to sign young striker

Liverpool are plotting a move to sign Wigan centre-forward Joe Gelhardt before he turns 18 in May, Football Insider understands.

The runaway Premier League leaders are among a clutch of elite Premier League clubs keeping close tabs on the teenage striker.

A Liverpool source has told Football Insider that the club are setting their sights on a move for Gelhardt in the coming months.

He has been watched closely by their feted recruitment team, and the scouting reports and analysis feedback have been very positive.

This comes after Football Insider first revealed last September that the Merseyside giants were keeping close tabs on Gelhardt.

He subsequently signed a new contract with Wigan, six months after he had turned 17.

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The Championship club are not able to tie Gelhardt down to a long-term deal until his 18th birthday in early May, which is an opening for his Premier League suitors.

In addition to Liverpool, Chelsea and Man United are also monitoring developments with the young forward.

He is starting to establish himself in the Wigan first team and has made 12 appearances this season, although only one of those has been in the starting XI.

Gelhardt has scored frequently at youth-team level for Wigan and England, netting three times in six appearances at Under-18 level.

Liverpool focused on youth signings last summer, with Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliott joining for significant fees.

In other Liverpool news, it can be REVEALED that the club have set their sights on Leeds United rising star amid contract opening.