Liverpool have agreed a five-year contract with Jordon Ibe, which will be signed next week. The 19-year-old winger, who broke into the Liverpool senior side this year and will be a key member of Brendan Rodgers’s plans next season, will be tied to Anfield until at least 2020.
An announcement is expected shortly after the final home game against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Liverpool officials have been in discussion with Ibe, 19, for the past few weeks and reached a breakthrough over the past few days. The club have insisted that reaching agreement with the player has been a smooth process because Ibe is represented by his stepfather rather than an agent.
Ibe is understood to be key to Brendan Rodgers’s future plans
Club officials have been in no doubt Ibe would be retained as he had two years of on existing deal remaining and there was an eagerness to reward his progress.
Ibe made his Liverpool debut two years ago and began this season on loan at Derby County. Such was his form that he was recalled in January and has forced himself ahead of more high-profile signings such as Lazar Markovic as a preferred option on the wing. Derby certainly missed his influence, having led the Championship with him in their ranks but suffered a dip in form once he returned to Anfield which resulted in them missing out on the play-offs.
Ibe signed aged 16 from Wycombe Wanderers in 2012 during Kenny Dalglish’s tenure at the club and there are hopes that he will follow the likes of Raheem Sterling into the England squad.
Liverpool have come under some criticism for their handling of contract negotiations this season, but it is now only the Sterling issue causing a major problem because he rejected a £100,000-a-week deal, his agent Aidy Ward initially demanding £150,000 a week before calling off negotiations.
There have been attempts to give the impression that the difficulty in Sterling’s case has been part of a broader trend, but that no longer stands up to scrutiny as the vast majority of those who were promised contracts during the past 12 months have now agreed terms.