Joe Gomez is the subject of interest from Aston Villa ahead of the transfer window, but the centre-back is now tipped to sign a new contract with Liverpool.
Gomez has been a bit-part player throughout this season, but has remained important to the Reds when filling in at either centre-back or right-back.
The Englishman, who celebrated his 25th birthday on Monday, has made 21 appearances in all competitions, but only 11 of those have come as a starter after losing his place to Joel Matip.
With Ibrahima Konate also preferred alongside Virgil van Dijk, Gomez’s more recent outings have come as understudy to Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right, leading to suggestions that he could depart in search of regular first-team football.
Villa have been widely credited as a possible suitor, but now the Telegraph‘s Midlands reporter John Percy claims Gomez is more likely to sign a new deal at his current club.
“Gomez has been discussed,” Percy wrote as he ran through Villa’s targets, “but there is now a sense that the England international will sign a new contract at Anfield.”
It had already been reported by the Liverpool Echo that Liverpool were looking to open talks with Gomez regarding an extension to his terms.
But there was doubt over whether he would agree to stay on Merseyside rather than seek an early end to a contract that, as it stands, runs to 2024.
Percy’s information is that the ex-Charlton youth now intends to remain with Liverpool, with it still being possible that he vies for a starting role in the future.
Given Gomez has been part of the first-team setup at Liverpool since 2015, when he joined as an 18-year-old, it is would be easy to assume that he is older than he is.
But he is almost six years younger than Van Dijk and Matip, who will both turn 31 later this year, and only two years older than Konate, who marks his 23rd birthday this week.
Nat Phillips, who is widely labelled as a youth prospect, is two months older than Gomez after celebrating his 25th in March.
There is still a chance that Gomez – who has shown no signs of slowing down despite four long-term injuries – could reclaim his starting spot under Jurgen Klopp in the future.