Liverpool step up interest in 'next Gerrard'

Posted by ESPN staff

Will Hughes Derby CountyPA PhotosEngland Under-21 international Will Hughes is a star in the making for Derby

Liverpool have stepped up their interest in young Derby County midfielder Will Hughes with the Mirror claiming that the Reds have sent scouts to keep tabs on the 18-year-old. Hughes has begun to gain prominence in the Championship with Liverpool not the only club keeping an eye on the England Under-21 international, as Merseyside rivals Everton are also keen to see how Hughes progresses over the next couple of seasons. But Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has identified Hughes as the next Steven Gerrard and has sent the club's chief scout Dave Fallows to follow the youngster and give an adequate report on when to make a move to secure his signature.

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew's love affair with French football looks to be coming to an end with the Daily Mail reporting the club are interested in signing Dutch goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet. Pardew has been looking for the right signing to compete with current No. 1 Tim Krul and sent scouts to watch the 22-year-old PSV Eindhoven custodian in the 2-2 draw with FC Twente. And Pardew has been informed that it's time to end his French fancy and go Dutch. However, PSV will not sell cheap and are holding out for a £6 million fee.

And finally, some news from the managerial world, with The Sun claiming that Bolton could soon end their relationship with manager Dougie Freedman. Life under Freedman has been less than rosy, with Bolton failing to claim victory in the club's first seven games and, after the 2-2 draw against Derby, have fallen to the bottom of the Championship. And now the club's board are ready to act, prepared to cut Freedman and instate high-flying Blackpool's Paul Ince at the Reebok Stadium.

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