Merseyside club hope to strike up a long-term affiliation with the Rams.
Liverpool will make a £15 million January bid for Derby wonderkid Will Hughes – dubbed the ‘new Steven Gerrard’.
The 18-year-old is regarded as one of the hottest prospects outside of the Premier League after breaking into the first team at Pride Park last season, with Arsenal and Manchester City adding their name to a lengthy list of admirers.
His performances in the Championship have drawn comparisons to Reds skipper Gerrard and it’s been revealed that Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers held talks with Derby over a deal in the summer but couldn’t come to an agreement before the transfer deadline.
Metro understands Rodgers wants to keep a close eye on Hughes and has dispatched trusted scout Barry Hunter to report on progress until the new year with a view to making a fresh approach as soon as the window re-opens on the stroke of 2014.
Liverpool are thought to value the England under-21 international at the £6 million mark but are prepared to pay as much as £10m to prise him away from the east Midlands, although it’s understood Derby won’t accept a penny under £15m for the teenager.
The Merseyside club hope the deal will form part of a potential partnership, which would allow Rodgers to send developing players out on-loan to Derby and have first refusal on their young talent.