Liverpool have signed 16-year-old striker Michael Ngoo from Southend.The 6'4" forward has agreed scholarship terms with the Reds after a successful trial period at Anfield.
"It's a good deal for us and a great opportunity for Michael," Southend head of youth development Ricky Duncan told the League One club's website.
"The deal could be worth more than £250,000 if he goes on to realise his potential but the initial fee is a lot smaller than that."
Ngoo played 67 minutes for Liverpool Under-18s in a 2-0 win over Barnsley last Saturday and there is no hint of the recent controversy surrounding the signing of youngster Gael Kakuta by Chelsea.
Chelsea have had a transfer ban enforced upon them by Uefa after being found guilty of inducing Kakuta to break his contract with Lens in 2007.
"Michael had accepted a scholarship with us at the end of last season but he didn't sign," explained Duncan.
"He felt that he could get a Premier League side which was his choice and fortunately it has worked out for him."
He added: "Liverpool were first class from the word go.
"There was no messing about, they came straight in with a good
offer that represented a fair value.
"Obviously we would have liked to have kept the player but you can't stand in a youngster's way when an opportunity like this came along."