Liverpool look to have edged Arsenal to the signing of Leicester City defender Ben Chilwell, who has been a target for both the clubs since the January transfer window. The left-back is touted to be one of the best young players in England at the moment and is said to be open to leave the newly crowned Premier League champions in search of first-team football.
According to the Mirror, Liverpool have won the race to sign the defender as Jurgen Klopp looks to begin his rebuild ahead of next season. The Reds have reportedly identified him as the perfect long-term replacement for Alberto Moreno, whose position at the club has come under intense scrutiny following a poor display during Liverpool's recent Europa League final capitulation at the hands of Sevilla.
The Spanish defender was blamed for two of Sevilla's three goals in the second half and came under criticism from a number of former players following the game. Chilwell is thought to be a good understudy for the Spain international after he made his debut for the Foxes this season. The 19-year-old England youth international is yet to make his Premier League debut but has featured in domestic cups for the league champions. However, he is said to be frustrated at the lack of first-team opportunities at the King Power stadium, where Christian Fuchs is the first choice under manager Claudio Ranieri.
Chilwell, who is contracted to the club until the summer of 2017, has thus far refused to sign a new deal and according to the report, Liverpool are confident that they can convince Leicester to sell the defender for a price of around £3m ($4.3m) in the summer. The former Huddersfield Town loanee could become Klopp's third signing after the German manager agreed deals for Joel Matip and Marko Grujic during the January transfer window, with the duo expected to arrive at Anfield ahead of next season.
The Merseyside club, however, are unlikely to find it easy as Arsenal will battle them all the way for the left-back's signature. According to the Daily Mail, Arsene Wenger is a big admirer of the defender and believes he is a good replacement of Kieran Gibbs, who has fallen out-of-favour this season and could look for a move elsewhere in order to play regular first-team football. Chilwell is looked upon as a perfect backup for first choice full back Nacho Monreal, who recently agreed a new deal with the Gunners.