Liverpool are set to sign Nigerian-born England youth international, Dominic Solanke for £3m after the striker rejected a new Chelsea deal due to lack of playing time AOIFootball.com can report.
The 19-year-old has agreed terms with the Anfield club after refusing to sign a contract extension at Stamford Bridge amid concerns over a lack of first-team opportunities.
Solanke’s current deal expires this summer but, as he is under 24, Liverpool will have to pay Chelsea a compensation fee to be decided by a tribunal. The fee is expected to be in the region of £2m-£3m.
Solanke has an impressive goals-scoring record for Chelsea’s youth teams and represented England up to U-21 level. He is currently part of Paul Simpson’s squad for the U-20 World Cup in South Korea and spent the 2015-16 season on loan at Vitesse Arnhem, where he scored seven goals in 25 appearances.
The striker’s stand-off with Chelsea over a new contract had alerted an array of clubs to his availability and several Premier League teams competed with Liverpool for his signature. Solanke, who will earn under £20,000-a-week at Anfield, also had offers from Red Bull Leipzig in Germany and Celtic, who saw him as a potential replacement for Moussa Dembélé.
Liverpool Manager, Jürgen Klopp intends to deploy Solanke in the club’s U-23 team initially and looks to develop a group of young talents – featuring the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Woodburn and Harry Wilson – to challenge the first team and feature in cup competitions next season.
As Solanke is over 17 and in line to sign a professional contract with Liverpool, the club’s transfer embargo – which applies to signing academy players from other English league clubs for two years, will not affect the deal.