Liverpool scouts have been among those watching Middlesbrough star Hayden Hackney, with an eye on a summer move.
The 21-year-old midfielder is an academy graduate at Boro, having made his senior debut back in the 2020/21 season. Since then he has gone on to make over 60 appearances for the Championship side, scoring four times.
Hackney particularly impressed last season, winning Middlesbrough's Young Player of the Year award, as well as being nominated for Championship Young Player of the Year.
Known for his passing as a deep-lying midfield playmaker, Hackney has featured in 16 of Boro's 20 league fixtures so far in 2023/24.
According to the Daily Mail, scouts from Liverpool, as well as both Manchester clubs and Tottenham have been keeping a close eye on the five-cap England Under-21 international.
The report adds that Nottingham Forest are also interested in making a move in the upcoming January window, though Hackney's preference is to remain at Middlesbrough until the end of the season, when the bigger clubs are more likely to consider an offer.
It is even suggested that Liverpool and Spurs may hold the strongest interest in the youngster, whose contract doesn't expire until 2027.
Hackney is not the only young Championship midfielder the Reds have been linked with in recent times.
Last month, Blackburn Rovers' Adam Wharton was named as a supposed transfer target for Jurgen Klopp's side, with the 19-year-old also impressing a host of Premier League sides.
While Liverpool spent over £140m on new midfield talent during the summer transfer window, there may be space in the squad for another more defensive option next year, given a lack of natural 'number six' candidates.