WANDERERS aim to banish their early season blues by signing Liverpool starlet Jordon Ibe on loan.
Championship rivals Derby County are also in the hunt for the 18-year-old winger, who has been tipped for big things at Anfield.
Dougie Freedman has been looking to add power and pace to the left side of his attack all summer, and has waited patiently for Brendan Rogers to make the teenager available.
It is hoped that Derby’s interest can be fended off and that Ibe can be signed in time to face Brighton this weekend as Wanderers go in search of their first victory of the campaign.
Freedman has also invited Crewe’s out-of-contract striker Max Clayton to train at Euxton, with a view to a permanent move.
The 20-year-old striker has trained with Sunderland and Wolves in recent weeks, and is also reported to be interesting Everton.
He has been on Wanderers’ radar for a while, turning down a contract offer from Crewe at the end of last year. But his age – and the fact the Railwaymen’s offer remains on the table – means that the club would demand a compensation fee if he signed elsewhere.
It is understood that an offer from Sunderland of £250,000 was turned down last month, while Wolves also turned down the chance to sign him after a trial spell.
Whether Wanderers could muster the finances to interest Crewe remains to be seen but Freedman wants to take a closer look at the England youth international before deciding whether to press ahead with other targets.
Ibe’s arrival has certainly caught public attention on Merseyside, where many Reds are questioning the logic of sending out one of the club’s top talents to the second tier again, following a successful spell at Birmingham City last season.
Brendan Rogers already has plenty of options on the wing including Adam Lallana, Raheem Sterling and Lazar Markovic.
Sources in Derby claim that Steve McClaren is also confident of bringing the young wide man to Pride Park, however, and already has a track record in coaching young Liverpool talents after working with Andre Wisdom last season.
Wanderers have, however, denied reports linking Rob Hall with a move away from Bolton.