Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez looks all set to spark an almighty stampede to his door this summer as the news begins to filter out that he is letting flying winger Paul Anderson out to play again for another season.
The 19-year-old spent last season out on loan in League One with Swansea – 41 appearances and ten goals later and the Swans were walking away with the League One title with a ten-point winning margin over Colin Calderwood's Nottingham Forest.
And the Liberty Stadium faithful had a new hero on their hands as the one-time West Bromwich Albion and Hull City trainee forced his way into the England Under-19 reckoning on the back of his sparkling efforts away on the right-hand side of Roberto Martinez's side.
The 5ft 7in Liverpool youngster was not, however, involved in this week's triumph in Belarus where Brian Eastwick's side came through their four-team Elite Qualifying Round phase unscathed and can now look forward to competing in the European Under-19 Championships proper in the Czech Republic from July 14-26.
While that may well be a feather in Eastwick's cap, it is likely to be a fly in Glenn Roeder's ointment given that both Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs and Chelsea's Ryan Bertrand are likely to be heavily involved in the Under-19 finals – postponing a decision on their future next season until the beginning of August.
Roeder – who has already set his still out to pull four or five loan youngsters into his plans for 2008-2009 – has already been linked to another two of Eastwick's young guns, Newcastle United striker Andy Carroll and Chelsea midfielder Jack Cork.
The fact that Anderson looks as if he won't make the cut for the Czech Republic added to the firm impression that Benitez has now decided against a straight sale and is favouring instead another year-long loan in the Championship will – as ever these days – prompt an unholy feeding frenzy among those Championship clubs with the contacts and the wherewithal to attract teenager's of Anderson's ilk.
Whether Roeder will be forming an orderly queue around the terraced streets of Anfield is another matter; his principal connections have – so far – appeared to be of the London variety with Chelsea's Frank Arnesen and Arsenal's Liam Brady top of his contacts book. But he has North-West links – or did, before Sven-Goran Eriksson was shown the door at Eastlands.
Mark Hughes' knowledge of the Welsh international scene may yet make Ched Evans' reappearance in Norfolk rather harder to come by.
He has, of course, also got other wide irons in the fire in the shape of Luton's David Bell and Blackpool's Wes Hoolahan – though not Aberdeen's Barry Nicholson. Not now. And it would be remiss not to mention Lee Croft's name. He is still in the mix somewhere next season.
So for now, Anderson's No1 admirers appear to be Nottingham Forest with a reported, ?750,000 bid having already been rebuffed by Benitez. Calderwood is hoping to reap the benefit from the fact that the lad was born and bred in nearby Melton Mowbray as Forest – fresh from the ?2.75 million capture of ex-City star Robert Earnshaw – start to make early waves in this summer's fraught transfer market.
All to the frustration of Swans' boss Martinez who would clearly likely to be reunited with last season's star loan turn. Watford are also in the hunt; as are “a lot” of other Championship clubs. With good reason, a ten-goal haul from wide right in your first full season in League One suggests that there is one teenage talent who could comfortably make the next step up.
“It looked for a time as though Liverpool wanted to cash in on Paul [Anderson] this summer, but it now looks like he's going to go out on another year's loan and then Liverpool will make a decision,” Martinez was quoted as saying on the Nottingham Evening Post website.
“I think the decision on where he goes now is going to come down to what he wants. We just have to wait and see,” added the Swans boss.
“Liverpool have been thinking long and hard about Paul's situation and I know there has been a lot of interest in him. That's a compliment to us because ten months ago there were not many people asking for Paul. Now, because of what he has done and the way we worked together, there are a lot of clubs interested.”
What is interesting is the way that Benitez's mind is working – farm the kids out on loan for a season in the Championship; get them to pay both a loan fee and the kids wages; kid comes back a year later, bigger and better for having a full season in the Championship under his belt.
Even if he is still not good enough for a Premiership career at Anfield, you have still had a full season with him in the 'shop window'; you'll get a buyer – just as Manchester City did with Ismael Miller and West Bromwich Albion – and everyone's a winner.
Apart from the majority of Championship clubs who end up polishing someone else's diamonds for a living.
?Paul is a Liverpool player and they will have the final say,? Martinez told the www.icwales.co.uk site.
?Because he did so well for us, he has generated a lot of interest this summer. And we have always said we want him to come back because of what he has done for this club and what he offers as a player. We know he will be good enough at the next level.
?The Championship will help Paul's development as a player and we believe we can help him bridge the gap between where he is now and Liverpool's first team.?