Barcelona rarely ever need to look beyond their La Masia academy for the next big thing but they’ve been alerted to a couple of Liverpool youngsters.
According to Sport and The Sun, the Spanish giants are eyeing Cameron Brannagan and Jordan Rossiter in a surprising swoop of Liverpool’s academy.
Spanish publication Sport claim Barcelona sent scouts to watch Brannagan, a 19-year-old midfielder, in Liverpool under-21s 2-0 win over Leicester on Monday.
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Barcelona noticed Brannagan when they faced the English club in a UEFA Youth League contest. He has played in the Europa League and FA Cup this season.
Rossiter, also 19, is the more well-known of the two. The midfielder made his Premier League debut last year against Arsenal and is tipped to fill Steven Gerrard’s boots.
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Injuries have stunted his progress but, according to The Sun, Barcelona want to ensure Rossiter fulfils his exciting potential at the Camp Nou.
And they’ll be delighted at the thought of only paying £250,000. FIFA rules state Barca can’t pay any more to bring the youngster overseas.
First Carragher and Gerrard, now Brannagan and Rossiter?
Liverpool have waved goodbye to Gerrard and Jamie Carragher in recent years and, though Jurgen Klopp has shown his faith in Jon Flanagan, losing two home-grown players at such a young age won’t go down well at Anfield.
The German is a big fan of Brannagan, too, so it’ll be a surprise to see him leave.
After the under-21 captain signed a new two-year deal in October, Klopp admitted Brannagan has “everything you need” in a midfielder.
“I saw enough (of Brannagan) that I can say congratulations to both sides for this new contract,” the 48-year-old said, per the Liverpool Echo. “He's a great young guy. I like his style.
“For his age he brings everything you need for a midfield player. He wants to play football, he's strong, he's clear, he's cool.”
Klopp raved about Brannagan
Klopp allowed Brannagan the chance to train with the first-team and was pleased with the midfielder’s composure.
“It's not easy for these guys to train for the first time with a new manager and think always 'he's going to make a final judgement' or something like this,” Klopp added.
“That's not how I work but these guys don't know this. I enjoy working with these guys. He's really a talent.
“We have to give these players enough time for development, for improvement, it's really, really important.”
Klopp got into a spat with the FA over England’s treatment of Rossiter, a clear sign of how highly he values the ‘next-Gerrard’.
When Rossiter returned from international duty with a hamstring injury, the former Borussia Dortmund boss compared England’s treatment of his midfielder to that of a horse.
Liverpool fans will be questioning Klopp’s own treatment of Rossiter, and Brannagan, if the duo are allowed to leave.