Liverpool are reportedly preparing an £8 million bid for FC Utrecht striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel. The 21-year-old forward has been earning rave reviews after bursting onto the scene in the Eredivisie, with new Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson sending scouts to watch the youngster against Willem II last weekend. Reports returned to the Reds boss were thought to be glowing, a point emphasised by Van Wolfswinkel’s Europa League qualifying round hat-trick against Celtic on Wednesday night. Ironically, Utrecht have been drawn against the Anfield club in the group stages of the competition.
Already a senior international for Holland, Van Wolfswinkel made his Dutch league debut for Vitesse in 2008. After one season at the GelreDome, the striker announced his move to Utrecht and signed a three-year contract with Utreg.
24 goals in 45 appearances have made Van Wolfswinkel one of the hottest young properties in European football, and his club are now bracing themselves for an abundance of interest from clubs. The Daily Record reported that the Merseyside outfit had overtaken Celtic as favourites to land the teenage striker, and tribalfootball go on to suggest that the Utrecht now expect a bid from the Reds before the close of the transfer window.
Hodgson has been linked with a string of strikers in the transfer window, including Ola Toivonen, Peter Crouch and Carlton Cole. With a lack of back-up in the forward positions and an influx of cash following the sale of Javier Mascherano, the former Fulham boss appears likely to move before the transfer window closes at the end of August.