Liverpool are reported to have stepped up their interest in Norwich City midfielder Todd Cantwell, making them the favourites to sign the 21-year-old ahead of a host of Premier League rivals.
Cantwell has been a consistent bright spark for the Canaries despite a dismal return in the Premier League, and with six goals and two assists he has contributed to a third of their league goals this season.
The England Under-21 international has been one of the season's surprise packages and is expected to move on in the summer regardless of whether or not Norwich can pull off the greatest of great escapes and overturn a seven-point deficit to escape the relegation zone.
And with the January transfer window now closed, The Athletic report that it's Liverpool who have made the first move ahead of a summer switch, and are now considered to be frontrunners for his signature having stepped up their interest.
Both Manchester clubs and Tottenham are said to be keeping tabs on the situation, with Norwich asking for as much as £30m for his signature regardless of their Premier League fate.
It's believed that Cantwell has impressed the Anfield hierarchy on both occasions he has featured against them this season, having made his top-flight debut at Anfield back in August while also turning in an impressive showing in the 1-0 defeat to the Reds at Carrow Road on Saturday.
Not at all surprised if Liverpool are after Cantwell. In the first few minutes of the Norwich game at Anfield you could see he was probably a player they would like. Ideal addition with Lallana leaving. https://t.co/PAXfOndcSP— Jack Sear (@JackSear) February 17, 2020
The report squares with news that came to light last month which named the same four clubs as holding a vested interest in the midfielder, who has featured off either flank and as a no.10 on occasions this season.
Liverpool were said at the beginning of January to have 'joined the race' and it seems the Premier League champions-in-waiting have since been proactive in their efforts to recruit him.
Should Norwich indeed go down and see Cantwell head to Anfield, he would become the fourth player in the Jürgen Klopp era to be recruited from a side relegated to the Championship. Gini Wijnaldum, Andy Robertson and Xherdan Shaqiri have set the precedent for Liverpool taking full advantage of the 'relegation discount' market.