Liverpool are reportedly firmly in the race for Real Valladolid youngster Ivan Fresneda.

The 18-year-old’s future is currently the subject of much speculation, with a number of clubs said to be keeping an eye on his performances for his La Liga club.

Newcastle United were heavily linked with the defender early in the January transfer window, but Arsenal are now believed to be the frontrunners for his signature.

According to The Athletic, Liverpool are also showing an interest, with the Merseyside giants preparing to battle their Premier League rivals for his signature before the end of the month.

Fresneda spent time with Real Madrid’s academy during his youth career, representing Los Blancos between 2014 and 2018 before moving to Leganes.

The Spain Under-19s international then arrived at Real Valladolid in 2020, initially turning out for their B side before making his first-team debut last September.

Fresneda has now made 11 appearances for his Spanish club this season, including nine outings in La Liga.

The right-back is again expected to be involved in Saturday night’s La Liga contest with Atletico Madrid despite the ongoing speculation surrounding his future.

Real Valladolid have Fresneda on a contract until June 2025, but the club would not be in a position to reject a sizeable offer from a Premier League club.

Real Valladolid chief David Espinar said last week that “there is a lot of interest” in the youngster, but the club have not yet received a “firm offer”.

“No firm offer has arrived for Fresneda, but there is a lot of interest,” Espinar told reporters.

“The club has set a squad cost limit in the summer. We are going to try to reinforce the squad and we are aware that there are players who will leave.

“We don’t have to sell any player to survive, but, in the football industry, everyone has to do it. It serves to strengthen squads and gives opportunities to people who want to improve or seek another destination.”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp selected James Milner at right-back for Saturday’s Premier League clash against Chelsea, with Trent Alexander-Arnold starting on the bench.