Liverpool are reportedly set to poach two young players from Sunderland this summer, as confirmed by one of the club’s owners Stewart Donald.
The Black Cats chief does not name the duo who are heading to Anfield, but told the Roker Report podcast that this could lead to a future relationship between the two teams with regards to transfers and loans.
“We are having our players poached. There are two players who will go to Liverpool,” Donald said.
“We tried to keep them. We said to the parents ‘If you really want to go you have to put it in writing’. The parents have written in and said ‘Thank you Sunderland, we want our lads to go to Liverpool’.
“We could turn around and make that awkward and then they will go in the summer anyway.
“Or we can talk to Liverpool and try and get sell-ons, which they don’t have to give us. Both of those lads, because of the relationship we’ve got with Liverpool which could see some players come in the other direction, we’ve opted for a good working relationship (with).
“We’ve asked them if they will stay and they said no. So we made a commercial decision to try and get the best arrangement.”
Sunderland have certainly suffered a real fall from grace in recent years, having suffered a great deal since their relegation from the Premier League in 2016/17.
They finished bottom that year and were relegated from the Championship as well the following season, so it makes sense that they’re now struggling to hold on to their best youngsters.
Liverpool also seems an ideal destination for young players right now, with Jurgen Klopp showing with the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and others that he’s ready to put his faith in youth and give them first-team opportunities.