Will Hughes
Will Hughes in action for the England Under-21s. [Twitter]

Brendan Rodgers has firmly denied that Liverpool have a deal in place with Derby County to sign exciting young midfielder Will Hughes.

The England Under-21 international has been heavily linked with a move away from Pride Park, with the latest reports just a matter of days ago claiming that Liverpool had match Derby's valuation of £12m.

It was believed that Hughes would make the move to Merseyside during the January transfer window but Rodgers has vehemently denied that this is the case.

Asked whether Liverpool had a deal in place to sign Hughes, Rodgers told reporters: "Nothing could be further from the truth.

"I feel for this young guy. He's a very talented young player. People aren't doing him any favours linking him with a move to Liverpool all the time. There's been no bid or deal agreed. He's at the best place he could be."

The 18-year-old is viewed as one of the hottest properties in England after becoming a regular at Derby last season as he made some 35 appearances in the Championship.

Hughes has once again been impressing this season and has already scored three league goals and has helped Steve McClaren's side climb to ninth in the table.

Derby know that they will face a major battle to keep the player but will have been extremely pleased to hear the comments from Rodgers as they are keen for Hughes to keep developing and learning his trade at the club.

The technically gifted midfielder has drawn comparisons to Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and there is even a feeling that Rodgers may well view Hughes as a potential successor to the legendary skipper.

While it seems the Merseyside club will not make an offer in January they may well decide to submit a bid next summer when there is sure to be even more attention around the hugely talented youngster.