Liverpool, Man Utd chasing striker phenom who’s scored 18 in 10, with ‘pre-agreed’ deal hinting at final outcome

Jurgen Klopp, October 2022 Credit: Alamy

Jurgen Klopp, October 2022 Credit: Alamy

Liverpool, Man Utd and Tottenham comprise three of five Premier League sides all converging over a striker sensation who’s scored four hattricks in his last 10 matches, per a report.

With competition for the top four now fiercer than ever thanks to Newcastle, no side can afford to rest on their laurels.

Liverpool are expected to spend big when overhauling their midfield next summer. Jude Bellingham remains their primary target.

Man Utd, meanwhile, are expected to launch a bid for PSV Eindhoven’s Cody Gakpo next month. Goalkeeper and potentially right-back could also be addressed, though a recent U-turn could spare one United star.

Spurs will be seeking a new left-sided centre-half in 2023 once Clement Lenglet returns to Barcelona. RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol would be a perfect signing for Conte, though the Croatian superstar could require a new world record.

However, today’s update regards a player all three clubs are chasing and who would represent a signing for the future, rather than the present.

The Mirror report Liverpool, Man Utd and Tottenham, as well as Man City and Newcastle, have all converged over Preston’s Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile.

Rodriguez-Gentile may be an unfamiliar name to many right now, though that’ll soon change.

Preston phenom can’t miss

The 16-year-old plies his trade for Championship club Preston North End in their youth ranks.

He hit the headlines when notching five goals in Preston’s 6-1 FA Youth Cup victory over Rotherham on December 9. However, that was by no means a one-off.

Rodriguez-Gentile – who only turned 16 in October – has scored 18 goals in his last 10 matches across FA Youth Cup and Under-18s action for Preston. Four hattricks have been plundered across that span.

The striker sensation holds dual citizenship between Argentina and Brazil and also carries a Spanish passport. It’s England where he’s making his name, however, and the country’s big guns are taking note.

The Mirror state Liverpool, Man Utd and Man City are all ‘tracking’ Rodriguez-Gentile. Newcastle and Tottenham are also in the mix.

Pre-agreed scholarship makes deal difficult

The youngster has reportedly already signed off on a ‘pre-agreed’ two-year scholarship at Deepdale. The Mirror suggest that will make it difficult for any suitor to prise Rodriguez-Gentile out of Preston for the time being.

Indeed, Preston are therefore deemed to be in a ‘strong position’ if and when the phone rings. While it’s not a certainty he won’t be poached, it’ll be far from straightforward and Preston may yet retain their hitman for a while longer.

One obvious question given his phenomenal numbers is when will we see him in Preston’s first-team?

According to manager Ryan Lowe, the wait might be a short one with plans already afoot to integrate him into first-team training.

Speaking after Rodriguez-Gentile’s five-goal haul against Rotherham a fortnight ago, Lowe said (via LancsLive): “He is a good little player, isn’t he?

“He’s got some good attributes, but again, he is 16 and we’ve got to be careful.

“People probably want to get him in the squad; he will come up and train with us in some capacity very soon – when he’s off school! It’s mad, isn’t it?

“But he is a fantastic talent and one we have to keep tabs on, which we are, of course. We get reports on all of the kids when they’re performing.

“Again, we can’t get too carried away with him and we’ve got to play him down a bit, but he looks like an exciting prospect for us.”

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