European champions Liverpool are in bate readiness to beat Arsenal in race for signing of teenage talent,Bilel Hassaini,reports from France says.
Barcelonal and Arsena have been on the watch for the attacking midfield man, with his cash-strapped club AS Nancy thought to be prepared to sell as they look to raise money to avoid relegation to the French third tier.
But no bid from Arsenal has been made, and Liverpool have reportedly decided to jump ahead in the queue by making an offer.
Foot Mercato claims via Get Football News France, that Ligue 1 club St Etienne are also interested.
PSG were also interested, but pulled out of a move for Hassaini after advanced discussions reached a dead end.
The 18-year-old has so far refused to pen professional terms with Nancy, meaning he would be available for a small compensation fee. PSG were set to pay €300,000 before their deal fell through.
Had the gunners succeeded in signing Hassaini, they would initially include him in their Under-23s squad with a view to graduating the former France U17 international into their first-team plans.
However, he could be offered a fast-track to first team football by London rivals Crystal Palace , who are also keen.
Like Arsenal, Liverpool would most likely bring him into their U23s – or possibly loan Hassaini out as they have with prospects such as Harry Wilson and Ben Woodburn.
Liverpool’s reported approach puts the pressure on Arsenal, Barcelona and Palace, as the lure of working under European Cup-winning Jurgen Klopp, with his renowned ability to get the best out of players, could prove very tempting to Hassaini.