Liverpool are clear favourites to land highly-rated midfielder Will Hughes in the January transfer window, according to bookmakers at least.
Sky Bet have cut odds on the England youth international joining the Reds before February 1st to 4/11, suggesting that a move is a very realistic possibility in the New Year.
The bookies rarely get it wrong, and such odds mean Derby fans may well need to brace themselves for the player’s exit.
Reports in November claimed Liverpool were set to beat their rivals to the £12million signature of Hughes’, although confirmation of a move was never given by either party.
But a switch to Anfield could now be on the cards as the player’s stock continues to rise in the Championship.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has shown that he’s willing to give youth a chance at Anfield, with the likes of Raheem Sterling and John Flanagan getting regular chances to impress under the Northern Irishman.
And, if Hughes does make the move to Merseyside, he’ll hope to compete for a place in the Reds first team alongside the likes of Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson.
The odds suggest that other interested parties are set to miss out on the player, with Arsenal second favourites at a distant 22/1 to sign Hughes before February 1st.
Arsene Wenger has a track record of getting the best out of young players at the Emirates Stadium, and has purchased the likes of Theo Walcott and Carl Jenkinson from the Football League in the past.
However, a switch to north London now looks unlikely for Hughes, and Arsenal may well need to set their transfer sights elsewhere in the market having previously been linked.