This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Derby County boss Steve McClaren has conceded that he will struggle to keep Will Hughes past the January transfer window.
A host of the Premier League's top sides seem to be biding their time in signing the 18-year-old, who scored in a 3-1 victory over Leeds United on Saturday, but it is expected that thorough scouting will turn into bids in the January window.
Liverpool are leading the chase for Hughes, with the attacking-minded midfielder already been compared with Reds captain Steven Gerrard.
McClaren, who has only been in control for two County matches, admits that it will be impossible to keep the England Under-21 international for much longer, but hopes to fill the void with another intake of acadamy graduates.
He said on Hughes: "Our job is to make sure he makes it.
"Eventually he will be too good. What we need behind that is players coming through to replace him."
As well as encouraging young prospects through Derby's excellent academy, he also hopes the board provide funds so he can make a genuine promotion campaign to the Premier League.
He added: "I don't know my exact budget, but we need to excite the chairman and the fans.
"It is a great position financially and we don't want to disturb that. We need to improve the team and the squad if we want to challenge for a play-off place.
"But that's my job. I want to come to them with a good plan and hopefully they will back it.
"I picked a club and listened to chief executive Sam Rush and chairman Andrew Appleby who have said, 'Let's go for it'. They want to be in the Premier League, and that's what I want."