Liverpool could pay an eight-figure fee for Dominic Solanke if Chelsea get their way, according to reports.
The England Under-20 striker will move to Anfield as a free agent on July 1, but the Blues will be due some hefty compensation due to his age under Premier League rules.
If the two clubs cannot agree a fee, then the matter will be settled by a tribunal.
Liverpool are said to be willing to pay £3million for Solanke and believe the fee would be fair, given his age and experience. The player, 19, has made just one appearance for Chelsea during his time at Stamford Bridge, though did enjoy a fruitful loan spell in Holland for Vitesse Arnhem, where he scored seven goals in 27 appearances.
However, after being named as Player of the Tournament as England won the Under-2o World Cup in South Korea at the weekend, the London Evening Standard claims the Blues are now seeking a much higher figure and actually value the young striker at £10million.
Chelsea believe they have a strong case of getting the figure given tribunals take into account the potential of players when working out a reasonable compensation fee.
The tribunal will be held by the Professional Football Compensation Committee (PCCC), an appointed, ad hoc group of independent figures which considers representations from all parties before determining a fee.
If the case reaches the PCCC then both Chelsea, where Solanke has played since the age of six, and Liverpool will put forward cases outlining their valuation of the player.
Factors to be considered include the player’s age, first-team record, interest shown by other clubs in signing him and the terms of his contract at the ‘buying’ club.
And the Liverpool Echo stress that the Reds can feel confident they won’t need to pay the inflated fee – the PCCC’s role is not, it should be stressed, to determine a ‘market’ or ‘transfer’ value, rather to compensate the ‘selling’ club for its training and development of the player.
Meanwhile, it is understood that Solanke, who will begin his Reds career as part of the club’s U23 group, will earn less than £20,000 per week at Anfield, with personal terms already agreed.
Michael Beale, the club’s former U23 coach, is understood to have been key in persuading Solanke, whom he worked with while a youth coach at Chelsea, to move to Merseyside.