By Greg Stobart
Liverpool want to sign Fulham wonderkid Patrick Roberts and are prepared to loan him back to the west London club, Goal has learned.
The Reds are eager to beat their Premier League rivals to one of the brightest young talents in English football and are preparing a formal bid.
Liverpool have previously made enquiries to Fulham for Roberts, who has attracted significant interest from all of the leading clubs in England, including Manchester United and Chelsea.
Brendan Rodgers hopes he can convince Roberts to sign for Liverpool thanks to his record of bringing through talented youngsters, particularly Raheem Sterling.
The Reds also have an edge because 17-year-old Roberts, can play either as a right winger or a second striker and has starred for England at youth levels, is a boyhood Liverpool fan and his parents are from Merseyside.
Roberts produced some outstanding performances in Fulham's run to the FA Youth Cup final last season and was rewarded with his Cottagers debut at the end of last season.
The youngster is expected to feature heavily this term in the Championship under Felix Magath and is eager to play first-team football.
Roberts is under contract until 2016 after he signed his first professional deal shortly after his 17th birthday in February.