Liverpool in the running to sign former Arsenal trialist - reports

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Liverpool are reportedly chasing former Arsenal trialist Dennis Praet.

According to talkSPORT, the highly-rated Anderlecht teenager is being monitored by the Reds, while Manchester United, Chelsea and Inter Milan are also pursuing his signature.

The 16-year-old completed a trial period with Arsenal last year but, although Arsene Wenger was keen to sign the midfielder, Anderlecht were unwilling to sell at the time.

However, talkSPORT reports, that £5 million could be enough to tempt the Belgian club to consider selling Praet, with Arsenal and Liverpool expected to pounce.

Should Liverpool seal a deal for the young Belgian, it would serve as further evidence of owners Fenway Sports Group fulfilling their promise to invest in teenage stars.

While FSG also intend to spend heavily improving the Liverpool first team, they are keen to pay more attention than the previous regime to the youth set-up in order to build teams for the future.

Besides Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, Liverpool have perhaps failed to develop any other players of significant talent in recent years.

However, newly installed full-time Reds boss Kenny Dalglish has been keen to blood youngsters since taking charge in January, and Liverpool have been reaping the rewards of the Scot's confidence in Academy products.

Jay Spearing has done enough to earn himself a new contract, ably filling in for Gerrard while the Liverpool captain has been sidelined.

It seemed for a while that the 22-year-old may fall by the wayside at Anfield, but he has now established himself as a consistent first-team performer.


And, with the likes of John Flanagan and Jack Robinson also part of Dalglish's plans, the future looks bright for Liverpool.

“Having local players gives the club a strong identity and also keeps the family atmosphere around the place," said Liverpool director of football Comolli - a former scout for Arsenal.

"These players have been here for so long that they make sure the atmosphere is still alive.

“The day we played Birmingham a couple of weeks back we had more players who had come through our Academy in our squad than any other Premier League side that day. That is a strong sign of the work going on at our Academy.

“It’s fantastically rewarding for the Academy staff to see the work they have done paying off. It also shows if you are good enough then you will play no matter what your age is.”

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