Liverpool and Chelsea have reportedly identified Chicago Fire youngster Jhon Duran as a potential future transfer target.
The two Premier League giants, both under American ownership, have endured mixed starts to the new campaign after previously being tipped to challenge for the title.
That will, theoretically, lead to it being more likely that first-team additions are made over the signing of prospects.
Nevertheless, according to MLS insider Tom Bogert, both clubs are monitoring the development of Duran.
Despite still being 18 years of age, the forward has already accumulated 73 first-team appearances for Envigado FC and Chicago Fire.
The Colombia international’s most sustained impact has been at the latter since the start of 2022, Duran making 26 outings in MLS.
In 13 starts and 13 substitute appearances, the teenager has contributed eight goals and five assists for one of the lowest-ranked clubs in the division.
Having netted five times in four outings during September, Duran has moved ahead of former Liverpool winger Xherdan Shaqiri to become the club’s top goalscorer.
The report suggests that offers in the region of $10m (£8.78m) could be received by Chicago Fire during the January transfer window.
With over two years remaining on the contract of Duran, Chicago Fire are not necessarily under pressure to cash in on arguably their most prized asset.
However, having acquired Duran’s services for just $2.5m, any sale at the turn of the year would represent a significant profit in the space of a year.
Furthermore, the club’s hierarchy are no strangers to doing business with Chelsea after already agreeing to sell goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina to the Blues for an initial $10m.
The American stopper was allowed to remain at Soldier Field for the remainder of the 2022 campaign, and Chelsea may be prepared to facilitate a similar deal for Duran if it means winning the race for his signature.