The 18-year-old is widely thought of as one of the very best players outside of the top tier of English football, and has been linked with Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham in recent times.
But Liverpool are now leading the race for his signature after allowing Andre Wisdom to extend his loan deal with the Rams until the end of the season.
As a part of the agreement, the Reds will be give first refusal to sign Hughes in the not too distant future when Derby decide to sell.
Rodgers is known to be a massive fan of the young playmaker, and sees him as an ideal long-term replacement for veteran skipper Steven Gerrard.
Hughes has been earning rave reviews for his Championship displays, where he has been developing well out of the limelight of the Premier League.
Derby have already confessed that their starlet may have to be sold soon, and could even opt to cash in if promotion to the top flight is secured.