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Liverpool Plot Awoniyi Coup

Oladipo Okubanjo

Liverpool, have reportedly expressed an interest in signing Nigeria youth international, Taiwo Awoniyi, who currently plays for local side Imperial Academy. According to the Liverpool Echo, the Reds have jumped to the front of the queue for the player’s signature, a queue which also includes the likes of Monaco and FC Porto.

Awoniyi, a 17-year-old striker, shot to prominence by helping the Nigeria Golden Eaglets win the Under- 17 World Cup two years ago, scoring four goals in the competition to lead his side to victory. Despite his tender age, the Flying Eagles forward, who had a rather subdued performance at the 2015 Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand, has more recently progressed to Nigeria’s Under-23 team, and scored two goals on debut.

The Echo state that Awoniyi is now weighing up his options ahead of his 18th birthday, after which he would be permitted to move abroad. At a point in this ever-developing Awoniyi transfer saga, top Portuguese club FC Porto led the chasing pack. Before the Under-20 World Cup in June, Awoniyi and his parents had settled for Porto, but a more interesting offer by Monaco meant a final decision on his future would have to wait. “Liverpool are now the team most likely to sign Awoniyi,” a source close to the youngster revealed.

“There are concrete offers on the table from the likes of Porto and Monaco, but the player himself said he would now love to join Liverpool.” Awoniyi’s agent, intriguingly, is former Wolves, Stoke and Hull midfielder Seyi Olofinjana – suggesting he could well be open to a move to England, should one become available.

“He’s still a minor and anything now to do with his transfer would basically have to be a pre-contract agreement until he is 18, which will be in August,” Olofinjana said. Liverpool have already moved to strengthen our academy side this summer, bringing in Bobby Adekanye and Brooks Lennon among others, and perhaps Awoniyi could prove to be the next such addition.

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