Liverpool are in firmly in the driving seat when it comes to their pursuit of Real Madrid starlet Jack Harper, and should beat Manchester City thanks to the influence of Brendan Rodgers.
The Daily Express today provides an update on the reports which surfaced yesterday confirming that both the Reds and the Premier League title rivals have been watching Harper with an intent to do business. The young midfielder has seen his stock rise dramatically thanks to his impressive showings in Madrid’s youth setup so far, and the article in question even claims that some sort of offer could be submitted as early as January.
Born to Scottish parents in Spain, Harper has become a wanted man by teams desperate to take him to the UK, and now it’s Liverpool who are supposedly the front runners.
Liverpool or City?
It’s believed Rodgers’s reputation for allowing youngsters a chance to push their way into the senior side - as was the case with Raheem Sterling - has given the Merseyside giants an advantage, and City won’t be able to compete on that front.
The reigning Premier League champions have a history of coaxing rising talents into moving to the Etihad, only to see them sit on the bench, devoid of any chances to break into the first-team setup.
The cases of both Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair should serve as suitable warnings to Harper if he is considering leaving Madrid, with neither having prospered with the Citizens despite their obvious ability.
On the contrary Rodgers has championed the benefits of giving young players adequate time to shine from an early age, and so Anfield represents the location wherein Harper would be afforded more a chance to impress.
Would he leave Madrid?
The transfer talk is of course pointless if the 18-year-old decides to make a go of it at the Santiago Bernabeu. He is deemed as an important asset for the future at Madrid and so is likely to be offered incentives to opt to stay, though once more it will be difficult for him to get guarantees of game-time alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
At the moment Madrid’s midfield is packed with proven, world-class talent, and the likes of Toni Kroos, Asier Illarramendi and Luka Modric aren’t going to be retiring anytime soon.
Last season’s Champions League winners seem to have found an enviable balance under Carlo Ancelotti and, whilst the club won’t want to lose a young player of such potential, they may not have a choice if Rodgers can give him the perfect avenue to develop his career.