Liverpool among four-club PL race to sign Simone Pafundi from Udinese - report
Liverpool are among four Premier League sides who are chasing the signature of Udinese midfielder Simone Pafundi, according to The Sun.
The 16-year-old became the first player born in 2006 to play in Serie A during the 2021-22 campaign and was also called up by Itay manager Roberto Mancini for a special training camp for young players.
Manchester United, Leicester City and Everton are also keeping a very close eye on the teenager’s progress at Udinese but the new Brexit rules means that no English side can approach a foreign youngster until they turn 18 years of age.
La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are also in the hunt to sign Pafundi and are thought to be leading the race due to these rules but Premier League scouts will keep watching him in the 2022-23 season.
The scouts’ main concern is how he would cope with the physicality of English football being just five foot, five inches tall which is another reason why the Spanish clubs are expected to be first at the Italian’s door when a transfer can be made.
Like almost every 16-year-old who gets their debuts at such a young age, there is still a lot of maturing to do before Pafundi can expect to play regularly at the top level.
He shows glimpses of brilliance at times but can also go missing during games which is typical of a youngster when they first progress to senior football but the ability is there for all to see.
Jurgen Klopp obviously sees a long-term project at Anfield and wants to start prioritising signings for the future rather than solely focussing on the here and now.
It’s a difficult job to do when he has the Reds competing so ferociously in every competition but if he sees himself as the man in charge for several years to come, he needs to make this kind of transfer happen to keep the talent coming up through the ranks.
He won’t have it all his own way with the Red Devils, Foxes and Toffees also on the charge but it could all be in vain if either of the El Clasico snatches him before the Premier League gets the chance.