ENGLISH Premiership giants Liverpool look set to sign Nigerian striker Taiwo Awoniyi this week and loan him out to a club in Belgium or Holland until he meets the necessary requirements to play in the UK.
Awoniyi, 17, is one of Nigeria's hottest properties at the moment and was the star of the Flying Eagles during the recent U20 World Cup. Currently plying his trade with Imperial Academy in Nigeria, Awoniyi came through the youth ranks having played for Nigeria's U17 team too and is currently valued at about £4m.
He has since made his way into Nigeria's Olympic U23 team and several European clubs, including the likes of Monaco and Porto have been watching him closely. With Awoniyi not eligible to play in England because he is yet to feature for the Super Eagles, Liverpool will have loan him out to a continental club if they buy him.
Awoniyi, who turns 18 on Wednesday, is expected to arrive at Liverpool this week for a medical and will subsequently be eligible to sign a professional contract. However, Liverpool is unlikely to apply for work permit for him using the special talent clause, preferring instead to loan him out to gain experience.
Earlier this year, top Portuguese club FC Porto led the chasing pack and before the U-20 World Cup in New Zealand in June, Awoniyi and his parents had settled for Porto. However, more interesting offers from the likes of Liverpool and Monaco meant a final decision on his future was shelved.