Liverpool rejected a late last-minute bid from Southampton to sign Neco Williams on loan, reports Sky Sports.
Williams has emerged as a bright prospect at Anfield, and has been the understudy for Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The 19-year-old has looked impressive whenever he’s been given game time this season, having made 11 appearances across all competitions for the Reds.
He’s clearly second-choice to Alexander-Arnold, and it is extremely unlikely that he’ll leapfrog him in the pecking order any time soon.
With that in mind, Southampton reportedly tried their luck with a bid on transfer deadline day.
The Saints are close to signing Takumi Minamino on loan, but will be unable to sign Williams.
That’s because Liverpool view him as an important member of the squad, and won’t allow him to leave.
Liverpool know first-hand what it’s like to have to rely on fringe members of their squad, having seen Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Fabinho all suffering injuries this season.
As a result, they’ve been forced into the transfer market to bring in Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies to cover their centre-back problem.
Takumi Minamino 'in talks' over late Liverpool exit on transfer deadline day
Letting Williams leave could work for the defender, but Liverpool would be left short if Alexander-Arnold suffered an injury.
Speaking earlier this month, the young defender appeared to indicate he would be unwilling to leave Liverpool as he wants to continue his development at Anfield.
Williams went on to insist he was happy to play second-fiddle provided he is able to perform whenever able to.
He said of being a back-up to Alexander-Arnold: “I look up to how Trent is now, coming through the academy.
“It shows nothing is impossible with hard work, determination and commitment.
“I know it’s going to be hard to get in the team and play week-in week-out but I just have to take every chance I get and prove I’m capable of being Trent’s main back-up and that I’m always ready to step up.”
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