Will Hughes
Will Hughes has been linked with a move to LiverpoolReuters

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers gave the lowdown on the club's move, or lack thereof, for Derby County midfielder Will Hughes.

Hughes has been constantly linked with a switch to Anfield, with some reports suggesting a bid had been made by Liverpool with the signing in January looking inevitable.

However, Rodgers, who normally doesn't comment on speculation, came out and refuted those rumours, insisting a move for Hughes is not even remotely close to being completed.

"I never normally say anything about players but I do really feel for this young guy," Rodgers told reporters at a press conference ahead of the Merseyside Derby against Everton on Saturday. It is something which has been ongoing and I don't normally comment on speculation but because I have the interest of the player at heart.

"This is a kid who if he picks up the paper every weekend he is linked with coming to Liverpool. This is a very talented young player that either a person or a group of people aren't doing him any favours whatsoever by constantly linking him with coming to Liverpool.

"I read we had put in a bid or something had been agreed and there is nothing further from the truth. There is no bid, there has been nothing. This is a young kid learning the game, he is at an outstanding club at Derby, he has a great manager there and we sent one of our young players [Andre Wisdom] there to develop and learn.

"I think Will Hughes is a wonderful young talent who just needs to play football and for me he is probably at the best place he could be. We are always looking for talent - young players, senior players, and he along with many other players is probably one we've looked at."

Rodgers is a major fans of bringing on youth, not just from outside, but within the club as well, with the likes of Suso, Wisdom, Adam Morgan, Jerome Sinclair, Conor Coady, Samed Yesil and Jordon Ibe all making their first debuts under Rodgers last season.

However, it is understood Liverpool have sacked their academy director Frank McParland and Rodolfo Borrell, the head of academy coaching, earlier this week, even if the club have failed to confirm the news.

Rodgers was also mum on the development, but expanded on the importance that he gives to the club's academy and the younger players that are coming through.

"I've been heavily involved within the academy," he said. "My first look is always within, whether it's for players or staff. The biggest thing I can give people is an opportunity and then it is a case of taking that opportunity and giving young players hope.

"A lot of my life was spent in youth development. I was an academy director at Reading so I understand all facets of development. It is something which is very important to us and it is something we will never change and I will always look for. It is very difficult for young players now but they will always get a chance and opportunity here if they are professional and have shown that quality.

"If it is not at that early stage -- we had players [last season] at 17 playing in the team which is really unprecedented in the Premier League but there will be a pathway here for all the players. If they breakthrough early and can't sustain that can be natural and they may need a loan period.

"As long as they are ready by 20, 21 then that is what the academy is all about -- a place to learn and develop and ultimately get through into the first team. It is why we have invested so much in it, why we put so much work into it, in order to get the players through."