Liverpool have had a mandate this summer to get younger and more upside-based in their roster, courtesy of their ownership. Manager Kenny Dalglish has followed that mandate exceptionally, finding himself a troika of young midfielders to bolster the Reds' talent base, in Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson, but the Anfield boss isn't done yet.
He's been in the market for a new striker or two for most of the summer to back up his stars Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez at the front of the attack. In that hunt, he's focused his search primarily on young stars, like Mexican teenage sensation Marco Bueno, looking for some long-term projects to develop at the position.
One name recently linked to a move to the Premiership is that of French phenom M'Baye Niang. the 16-year-old French starlet has thrived during his time with Ligue 1 club Caen, scoring three goals in just seven appearances with the club last season.
That play has attracted the attention of the Reds' brass, according to a Mirror Football report, and Anfield is reportedly seriously considering bidding on the talented wunderkind.
Now, you'd think that Caen would be incredibly unwilling to give up a player many see as the best teenage talent in all of French football, and you'd be absolutely right; reports indicate that Caen have no desire to deal their talented phenom striker whatsoever, hoping to capitalize on his considerable skill and his immense physical gifts for at least a few more seasons.
However, a contract issue with the French outfit has made it possible for the wunderkind striker to leave his club for a grand total of £0. That's right, one of the most talented youths in all of France has suddenly become available for a potential free transfer, according to the report.
Naturally, Liverpool are hardly the only club getting in on this race for the talented young striker's services. Tottenham and manager Harry Redknapp, always in the hunt for a good bargain, have also been monitoring the young striker's progress, and are ready to jump on a bid to grab him, as well.
Niang has already displayed fantastic skill on the pitch, and his scoring touch and ball-handling skills make him a rare commodity, given his already strong build. He figures to make a major impact on any club he joins within a season or two, and could be a major star in the near future. It's hard to say whether Liverpool can actually consider themselves front-runners for his services, as the Reds will be hard-pressed to offer the teen phenom a ton of playing time right off the bat at Anfield.
But in the end, the Reds still stand a solid chance of landing one of the brightest young stars in the sport. He'd be a fantastic long-term option for Dalglish at the front of his attack, and his low cost at the start has to make him even more appealing. I'm not sure whether the Reds are front-runners for his services, but they certainly have a very real chance at getting him.
He could be a fantastic player, and at the cost Liverpool would have to pay to get him (nothing), he might just be the steal of the summer.