Liverpool are preparing for the long-term future without Steven Gerrard by reportedly monitoring Bolton Wanderers midfielder Josh Vela.

The 21-year-old has two years left to run on his contract at the Macron Stadium and was said to have impressed Liverpool officials in their recent meeting in the FA Cup.

Bolton allegedly turned down an offer of around £1m for Vela as a 17-year-old, but the Reds could return this summer after watching him emerge as a key player since Neil Lennon's arrival in October.

The versatile Vela has made 19 appearances for the Championship side this term, and the five-time European champions are monitoring the youngster's progress, according to the Daily Mail.

Speaking before the two sides' FA Cup meeting last week, Trotters boss Lennon claimed that Vela reminded him of a young Gerrard.

The Northern Irishman said: "He reminds me a lot of Gerrard, in the way he handles himself on the pitch.

"That slim, athletic build, he handles the ball well and gets round the pitch, he's composed and can play a variety of positions."