Liverpool locked in Battle Royale for 17-year-old wonderkid

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Liverpool know all about missing out on transfer targets this season, having failed in bids to sign Mohamed Salah and Yevhen Konoplyanka over the course of the January transfer window.

Despite the former of those two would-be signings looking likely to plump for Chelsea over the Reds, Brendan Rodgers held a confident stance over the possibility of landing the Egyptian right until he signed on the Blues’ dotted line.

That’s a stance the Northern Irishman will have to take again as he hunts youthful Groningen star Richairo Živković, a 17-year-old striker making waves in Holland.

The Merseyside club, who are 1/14 locks for a return to the Champions League and 13/2 dark horses for the Premier League title, find themselves embroiled in a three-way transfer battle for the youngster, along with Ajax and Manchester City.

It seems that the Frank de Boer-managed Dutch giants are winning the bout, especially as the 112-capped international talked effusively about the youngster’s ability this season.

However, Liverpool know from experience that deals which look to be done can be gazumped in the final stages, and won’t cut their ties with Živković on the back of pure hearsay that a deal with Ajax has been reached.

The Anfield inhabitants have scouted the forward, who has scored five goals in the Dutch top flight this season, numerous times and are one of the more active followers of the player’s career according to Groningen’s managing director.

Having started just five games for the Eredivisie club, Živković’s goal return is mightily impressive, with four of his five strikes coming in appearances made from the bench.

With such little time afforded in those games, his record only further highlights his undoubted talent and Rodgers will be doing all he can to lure the Dutch U19 international to Anfield, with the emergence of Raheem Sterling just one example of what giving youth a chance can do.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.