Liverpool transfers: No Will Hughes deal, says Brendan Rodgers
Liverpool transfers: Brendan Rodgers emphatically denies the Reds have made a bid or agreed a deal to sign Will Hughes
Brendan Rodgers has denied that Liverpool have agreed a deal to sign Derby County youngster Will Hughes.
The Reds were reported to have won the battle to sign the highly-rated midfielder, who is valued at £12m, ahead of Premier League rivals Arsenal and Manchester United.
And although Rodgers accepted Hughes is an exceptional talent, the Liverpool manager feels that the midfielder is best-served staying at the Rams and continuing his development.
“I feel for this young guy,” Rodgers said.
“He’s a very talented young player. People aren’t doing him any favours linking him with a move to Liverpool all the time. There’s been no bid or deal agreed. He’s at the best place he could be.”
The England Under-21 international, who has been touted as a potential successor to Reds skipper Steven Gerrard, has scored three goals in 15 Championships appearances this term.
Earlier this week, former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson urged Rodgers to find a long-term replacement for his talismanic 33-year-old captain.
“To be honest, I would also be looking now to the long-term and who could replace Steven Gerrard,” Lawrenson told Liverpool Daily Post.
“Liverpool haven’t got a like-for-like replacement in their squad and, given what Gerrard brings to the team, whoever they bring in is going to cost a lot of money. It is something they must therefore get right. They can’t afford to make a mistake.
“Gerrard responded to criticism against Arsenal the previous week with a man-of-the-match display in the romp over Fulham last weekend.
“I despair with how, in the Premier League these days, you are judged on a single 90 minutes every week. It’s all immediate, knee jerk. People go completely overboard and don’t look at the bigger picture.
“Believe me, it will be a very dark day when Gerrard is not in the Liverpool team regularly because he is not going to be easy to replace. He is still a hell of a player.”