Man Utd and Chelsea locked in transfer battle for Liverpool wonderkid

Van Dijk nutmegs Gomez as Liverpool train in Austria

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Manchester United and Chelsea are ready to go head-to-head for the signature of Liverpool youngster Ethan Ennis. The 16-year-old has made a positive impression during his time in the Reds’ academy, having broke into the Under-18s setup last season.

Ennis score three goals along the team’s run to the final of the FA Youth Cup and helped secure a third-placed finish in the Premier League U18 table.

But his time at Liverpool appears to be coming to an end, with the Liverpool Echo reporting that Ennis has rejected a scholarship offer and looks set to sign for one the Reds’ rivals.

The Reds will now attempt to negotiate a development fee for the player and face the prospect of a tribunal should an agreement not be reached.

Though looking likely to lose Ennis, Liverpool have managed to tie down a number of other talented youngsters to fresh terms this summer.

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Kaide Gordon, Stefan Bajcetic and Calum Scanlon were among the ten players who recently signed their first-year scholar terms.

Liverpool have witnessed the development of a number of players who have progressed through the club’s academy in recent years.

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Curtis Jones are two examples of players who learned their trade in this manner before moving into first-team football.

Alexander-Arnold has set an example to any current player coming through the ranks at the club as to what can be achieved in such a short space of time.

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The 22-year-old has established himself as one of Europe’s best full-backs and puts much of his success down to guidance given by Liverpool academy manager Alex Ingelthorpe.

“I want every trophy and as many of them as possible,” Alexander-Arnold told MR PORTER in an interview last year.

“I remember Alex Inglethorpe breaking it down into a thought process that I’ve never stopped thinking about since. It was when I was around 18 and he asked me ‘when do you retire? Maybe when you’re around 34 or 35. That’s 17 years.’

“And he told me, ‘so you’ve only got 17 attempts to win the Premier League, 17 attempts to win the Champions League or any other trophy. As much you think that’s a long time, the reality is you get only 17 tries and there will be failure, which is natural and will reduce that number.’”

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