Arsenal Blow As French Playmaker Meets Liverpool Staff To Disucss Anfield Switch
The January transfer window may have slammed shut but clubs will still be working hard behind the scenes at identifying targets for the summer, so we’ll bring you all the latest news, gossip and rumours. Today, Liverpool are looking to trump Arsenal to a French youngster.
Liverpool appear to have jumped ahead of Arsenal in the race to sign Maxime Lopez after the highly-rated Marseille attacker met with Brendan Rodgers to discuss a potential switch to Anfield, according to the Daily Mail.
The 16-year-old is considered as one of the most promising young talents in France after coming through Marseille’s youth system and his performances for the Under-21’s this season have attracted interest from some of Europe’s top clubs.
The Mail claim that Arsenal have sent chief scout Gilles Grimandi to regularly watch Lopez and they even had the chance to watch him up close when he featured against the Gunners in their UEFA Youth League clash and impressed during a 1-1 draw back in November.
However, the newspaper suggests that Liverpool are now hopeful of securing a deal for the playmaker after inviting him and his family to watch the Merseyside derby at Anfield a few weeks ago. Lopez is understood to have met with Brendan Rodgers and club staff where it was explained how he would be fast-tracked to the clubs first team if he joined the club.
A ‘source’ close to Marseille admitted last month that the club feared Lopez would be lured away with the promise of a lucrative contract, saying:
“If a foreign club offers €20,000 per month to a 16-year-old kid, plus a stake to the parents, what can you do?
“This is the law of the football business, but we hope he’ll choose with his heart.” [source: Express]
No doubt Marseille are preparing a tempting contract offer for the youngster to try and persuade him to remain in France, but Arsenal and Liverpool will be aware that Lopez is unable to sign professional terms with the French outfit until he turns 17 later this year, so they could take advantage of that rule and lure him to England with only limited compensation being owed to the Ligue 1 club.
Have you seen much of Lopez? Would you like him to join your club? Share your views below.
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