By Chris Rowland.
The last full week – it feels like the end of term to me!
The latest on ‘the next Steven Gerrard’, Derby County’s Will Hughes, is that his club has “slapped a £15m price tag on his head” (ClubCall Aug 25). I hope that’s not ‘literally slapped a £15m price tag on his head”. I’ve seen them do that to fish at fish markets in Portugual. Not for £15m though. Way too much for a monkfish. Even Spurs wouldn’t put a bid in at that price.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is convinced the 18-year-old is destined for a bright future and wants to get him on board as quickly as possible to see off rival interest in the highly-rated Welshman. It’s already been suggested that a deal could be done which would see Hughes loaned back to the Rams for the rest of the season, particularly if the Anfield club, or any other would-be suitor, fails to meet their valuation.
Derby are in no rush to sell their young star and feel he would benefit from at least another season at Pride Park, but clearly the Championship side would find it hard to turn down a decent offer for a player that Rodgers has identified as a long-term successor to Steven Gerrard. The England Under-21 international, has long been regarded as one of the brightest talents in English football, after making his Rams debut at the age of just 16 and has been watched extensively over the last six months by Liverpool’s chief scout Barry Hunter. Manchester City and Arsenal are also confirmed admirers of the teenager who played 35 times last season for Nigel Clough’s team.
And Tom Hopkinson of the Sunday People (Aug 25) wrote:
Derby have told Liverpool it will take a £15million-plus offer for them to part with midfield teen sensation Will Hughes. And Hotline understands the Rams will insist on a season-long loan back being part of any deal if Reds boss Brendan Rogers does meet their valuation. Hughes, 18, is a huge talent and Derby are confident his value will go up even more this season. The England prospect has previously been touted as a long-term successor to Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard. But Derby are keen to keep hold of the star for another season as Nigel Clough looks to push the club further up the Championship table.
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