Liverpool close to capture of Derby starlet Hughes

Liverpool are expected to wrap up the £10m signing of Derby County teenager Will Hughes, the Independent has reported, in a deal that will see the midfielder remain with the Championship club for the rest of the season.

The 18-year-old is already an England Under-21 international and made his first team debut for the Rams at 16. Hughes was a regular component of Nigel Clough’s side last season, making 35 league appearances. Many of those appearances will have been under the watchful eye of Liverpool scout Barry Hunter, the newspaper adds, as Hunter has monitored Hughes’ progress extensively over the past six months.

Hunter was not alone in scouting Hughes, with the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal also paying close attention, but it is the Reds who appear to have made their interest concrete with a sizeable offer for the player. Liverpool are thought to have made their move now because the £10m fee is only likely to go up as more top flight clubs prepare offers – and Hughes’ value will increase further if he follows the Football Association’s schedule in the near future years and breaks into the senior national team, as one of a group of players earmarked for fast tracking over the next four years.

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