Premier League leaders Liverpool are reportedly hoping to beat La Liga champions Barcelona to Sao Paulo wonderkid Gustavo Maia.

Liverpool target Gustavo Maia is a fan of Premier League rivals Manchester City, according to Goal, although this is unlikely to put the Reds off a dazzling young winger.

The Brazilian national team might not be the mystifying force it once was but it feels like there is a golden generation of youngsters emerging from this particular part of South America.

Since 2017, Gabriel Jesus, Richarlison, Reinier Jesus, Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior have all sealed big-money moves to Europe and it feels only a matter of time before Maia follows in their footsteps.

Unlike Jesus and Richarlison, this fleet-footed 19-year-old has yet to really establish himself in Brazil, but he is already on the radar of some of Europe’s biggest clubs despite failing to make a single first-team appearance for Sao Paulo.

Marca reports that Liverpool are interested in landing another potential superstar, after snapping up both Harvey Elliott and Sepp Van der Berg last summer, although Barcelona are understood to be leading the race for what would be a bargain £4.2 million deal.

And Goal’s claims that Maia is a big fan of the club Liverpool lost the Premier League title to last season adds another intriguing element to this already enticing transfer battle. The teenager is apparently a Manchester City supporter.

However, given that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has an enviable track record when it comes to transforming young hopefuls into genuinely world-class footballers, you’d think Maia would put his allegiances to one side if the 2019 European Champions come calling.

In other news, Report: Rival club attempt to hijack Albian Ajeti's Celtic move