Southampton have leapfrogged Liverpool in the race to sign Bristol City defender Lloyd Kelly this summer, Football Insider understands.

The Merseyside giants have been closely watching the England Under-21 international this season following his emergence at the Championship club.

A club source has told Football Insider that Liverpool have been assessing left-back Kelly ahead of a possible summer swoop and have been very impressed by his development.

Premier League rivals Southampton are also keeping tabs on the 6ft 3in defender and are ready to make a bid for the player and offer him a quicker route to their first team.

Kelly has made 26 league starts among 34 appearances this season and been a key member of the team that narrowly missed out on a place in the Championship play-offs.

Manager Lee Johnson is convinced the rising star, who had been predominantly used at left-back this season, will eventually develop into a top quality central defender.

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Johnson told the Bristol Post he has high hopes of a player he claims “looks an absolute beast.”

Liverpool are set to wave goodbye to Alberto Moreno next month, when his contract expires, and they are also set to listen to offers for Nathaniel Clyne, who is on loan at Bournemouth and has a deal that expires in June of next year.

In other Liverpool transfer news, the club are set to sell Klopp’s first signing for a £20million-plus fee after his quit plan is revealed.