Liverpool strike deal to sign Ghanaian starlet Abdul Fatawu Issahaku

Tom Gott
Liverpool look to have snapped up another youngster
Liverpool look to have snapped up another youngster / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

The president of Ghanaian side Steadfast has confirmed that Liverpool have won the race to sign young attacking Abdul Fatawu Issahaku.

Bayer Leverkusen had been close to winning the race for the 17-year-old, who is seen as one of Ghana's most exciting talents, but talks broke down at the last minute as several Premier League sides threw their hats into the ring.

Manchester United were reported to be keen, but it's Liverpool who have won the race for his signature, with Steadfast president Hon. Haruna Iddrisu revealing (via Football Ghana) that the Reds have paid a fee of £1.5m for the teenager.

Liverpool are yet to confirm the deal, but it is thought that an announcement is now far away and will also include confirmation that Issahaku will spend next season on loan in Portugal with league champions Sporting CP.

An exciting, versatile forward, Issahaku managed two goals and an assist in this year's Under-20 African Cup of Nations, where he was named as the tournament's best player despite playing against players almost five years older than him at the time.

He has since been called up to Ghana's senior side, spending two games on the bench in March.

Liverpool had not been expecting to get the chance to sign Issahaku as Bayer Leverkusen were close to getting a deal done, only to pull out of talks at the last minute, with one of the intermediaries who worked on the deal citing attitude problems from the player's entourage.

"Fatawu is a highly talented player and Bayer made a very good offer," Michael Rahnau told Kicker. "But I understand those responsible at Bayer pulled out of the transfer because of Issahaku's advisor's dubious and disrespectful behaviour."

After seeing their meeting with the German side cancelled, Issahaku's representatives were quickly on the phone and are understood to have fielded offers from Basel, Anderlecht, RB Salzburg and Ajax as well.

It's Liverpool who won the race for his signature, although when he'll actually be seen in a red shirt remains to be seen. The transfer brings reminders of the deal to sign Taiwo Awoniyi, who left Nigeria to sign for Liverpool in 2015 and was finally awarded a work permit to play in England this summer, at the age of 23.

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