Middlesbrough are set to beat Newcastle United in the race to sign Liverpool youngster Sheyi Ojo, with Reds boss Jurgen Klopp believing a year-long spell on Teesside would be more beneficial than on Tyneside, according to Gazette Live.
The German manager was expected to integrate the 20-year-old into the Merseysiders pre-season plans this summer, however has now come to the conclusion that a short spell away would be better for the wide-man’s development.
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Boro are now front-runners to land the England Under-20 international World Cup winner, with the north west club expecting the pacey winger to feature more regularly at the Riverside Stadium than if he were to join the St James’ Park outfit.
Ojo will be keen for regular game time himself after making just two appearances for Liverpool last season, both coming against Plymouth Argyle during the Reds’ FA Cup run.
However, previously to this the dynamic attacker enjoyed successful loan spells at then-Championship sides Wigan Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers, with the latter one of note.
The London-born youngster featured 19 times during his six-month stint at Wolves and netted three times before being recalled by his parent club in January 2016 to stake a claim within the Anfield first-team, going on to play on 11 occasions.
But with additions since Ojo has been unable to secure a regular spot at the Champions League side, and with Middlesbrough boss Garry Monk keen to bring the trickster in on-loan in order to freshen up his new squad, it seems a deal could be done in the near future.
The Boro hierarchy are wary they may need to address shortfalls on the wings before the beginning of next term, with fan-favourite Stewart Downing expected to depart the north east club this summer after being informed his future no longer resides with the club, and Adama Traore, who has also been linked with a move away as the Spaniard searches for another spell in the Premier League.
The Englishman would certainly offer much-needed support to the recently-relegated squad in their quest to regain top-flight status, and with Klopp keen for his rising-star to play regularly, the Teessiders seem the best option for the Liverpool man.
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez will be frustrated by potentially missing out on another target, with the newly promoted Premier League side finding the transfer market tough going this summer.
The Tyneside outfit have added Christian Atsu and Florian Lejeune to their squad ahead of their return to English football’s top tier but the supporters are desperate for more new faces.