Liverpool 'following strongly' Belgian wonderkid compared to Andres Iniesta

Liverpool have been named as one of the clubs following Belgian midfield starlet Arthur Vermeeren, according to one report.

The 18-year-old is a central midfielder, who currently plays his football for Royal Antwerp.

Catalan outlet Mundo Deportivo report Barcelona's interest in Vermeeren, whose Antwerp will play at the Camp Nou in their Champions League opener on Tuesday night.

It is said that the match will be a good excuse for Barça's recruitment chiefs to take a closer look at the player who typically plays in a double pivot for Mark van Bommel's side and has even been compared to the legendary Andres Iniesta for his technical ability.

The report adds that Barça scouts first went to watch the teenager back in January, while representatives of Dortmund, Monaco and West Ham were also present.

Where do Liverpool come in then?

Mundo Deportivo add that the Reds, along with Brighton, Manchester United, Ajax and RB Leipzig are all 'following strongly' the youngster's progress, with Antwerp accepting the inevitability of a sale next season, if not before.

The report puts his price at around €15-20m (£13-17m) though that seems entirely speculative – and probably wishful, considering Barça financial restrictions.

Already a Belgium Under-21 international, Vermeeren made 26 appearances for Antwerp in 2022/23 as they clinched a Belgian Pro League and Cup double.

Vermeeren's talent notwithstanding, it remains to be seen whether Liverpool will be in the market for more midfield additions in the next transfer windows.

The Reds overhauled their engine room this summer as part of a much-discussed rebuild bringing in Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch for a combined £145m.

Anfield Watch understands that strengthening the defence will be the priority for Liverpool in the near future, with Piero Hincapie (Leverkusen) and Yukinari Sugawara (AZ) among those being looked at.

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