Blackburn is hoping to sign Liverpool midfielder Leighton Clarkson on a one-season loan, with manager Tony Mowbray “patiently waiting” for a deal to progress.
Clarkson has been one of the most used players throughout the Reds’ preseason so far, clocking 149 minutes in four appearances, with just 12 more outfielder.
The small midfielder has drawn attention with his aggressiveness and passing ability, but could find himself on the outskirts now that Fabinho has returned to the fold.
Fabinho started in front of the teenager in the second friendly against Bologna on Thursday, and with Jordan Henderson and Thiago set to return to action next week, Clarkson’s opportunities could become increasingly limited.
This is not to downplay his impact when he was part of Liverpool’s first team, however, and Jurgen Klopp is a staunch admirer of the playmaker – which could influence a decision on his near-term future this summer.
Born and raised in the Blackburn area, Clarkson is attracting interest from the Rovers, who hope to secure a series of loan deals to strengthen the Mowbray squad for 2021/22.
Talk to LancsLive, the Blackburn manager hinted at “daily” talks about the movements of Clarkson and Man City midfielder Tommy Doyle, with the availability of key players at their parent clubs forcing them to “wait patiently”.
“We talk to a lot of clubs, talk about various players that we like and that we have identified,” he explained.
âIt’s kind of a drip scenario for us really.
âThe clubs we’re talking to, some of the big clubs in the Northwest and their big players are gone, whether it’s in the Copa America or the European Championship and they’re just coming back.
âSo they used their young players to save playing time and fill their matches.
“We are patiently waiting but conversations have taken place on a daily basis and the minimum we would do is complete our five loans over the next three weeks.”
The situation detailed by Mowbray certainly applies to Clarkson, who replaced Fabinho and Henderson during their absence after the summer internationals.
Whether the youngster will eventually move to Ewood Park remains to be seen, but the successful relationship established between the clubs – which are only 40 miles apart – in recent years may ease the process.
Mowbray played a key role in the development of Harvey Elliott during his loan spell at Blackburn last season, and if a similar path could be mapped out for Clarkson, it would be difficult for Liverpool to turn that down.