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Tottenham Hotspur FC v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - UEFA Champions League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Julian Brandt, Bayer Leverkusen’s 20-year-old winger, has been a near-constant source of transfer rumors over the past several months. The speculation was that his name was on the short list of players who could be brought in—both with a view toward the future, and to fill in for the temporary absence of Sadio Mané.

Today, James Pearce confirmed that Liverpool are indeed interested in bring the young talent to Merseyside, but not until this upcoming summer. Leverkusen have so far endured a trying campaign, one that sees them mired in 9th place, a full 8 points off Champions League qualification. As such, it is unlikely that they will want to sell one of their best, young talents.

In keeping with earlier reports, Brandt’s buy-out is around £17 million, but cannot be activated until 2018. His contract with Leverkusen runs until the summer of 2019. Therefore, the hope is that he could be captured for around £20 million this summer, but there will be competitions for his signature, including German giants Bayern Munich.

However, Brandt has rebuffed the Bavarian Reds before, remarking:

“I would not be scared to dismiss Bayern for a second time. The same goes for other clubs too,” Brandt said in an interview with Bild.

Other clubs except for Liverpool, right? Right?

It looks like this is another one to keep an eye on over the coming months, but it appears less and less likely that Liverpool will seek to bring in a January Mané replacement. Stay tuned.