Hearts are interested in signing Liverpool midfielder Ben Woodburn on loan, Goal can reveal.
The 21-year-old remains the youngest goalscorer in Reds’ history, but he will leave Anfield this summer in search of regular football.
Woodburn has a number of options to consider, including clubs in Denmark and Croatia, but it is Hearts of the Scottish Premiership that currently lead the race.
Why has Woodburn’s career not taken off at Liverpool?
Woodburn joined Liverpool at the age of seven and in November 2016 became the youngest player to score in a competitive game for the club.
He was just 17 years and 45 days old when he netted in a League Cup win over Leeds at Anfield, and in September 2017 he became the second-youngest player to score for the senior Welsh national team.
He made nine appearances for Liverpool in the 2016-17 season, and two the following year. But while his close friend Trent Alexander-Arnold has gone on to establish himself as one of the star’s of Jurgen Klopp’s team, Woodburn’s path has been more difficult.
A loan to Sheffield United in 2018 ended prematurely after only eight appearances, while another temporary move to Oxford a year later was ruined by two serious foot injuries.
He joined Blackpool, under former Liverpool academy coach Neil Critchley, last summer, but contracted Covid-19 and was able to make only 13 appearances for the League One side before returning to Anfield.
This summer, Woodburn played a full part in pre-season and impressed in Liverpool’s final friendly against Osasuna last week. He was an unused substitute in the Reds’ Premier League win at Norwich on Saturday.
But with the likes of Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara and Curtis Jones all ready to return to the squad, it is accepted that opportunities will be limited going forward. Klopp already has James Milner, Fabinho, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Harvey Elliott competing for midfield places.
Woodburn is into the final year of his contract and appreciates the need to go and play regular, senior football if he is to develop his career.