Reds chief Brendan Rodgers instructed representatives of the club to monitor the 18-year-old during the Rams’ draw with Bolton on Tuesday.
Although the young midfielder limped off with an injury, he is believed to have impressed the club’s scouts after setting up a goal.
The Merseysiders have been watching Hughes for some time and are believed to see him as the ideal long-term replacement for Steven Gerrard.
The England skipper is nearing the twilight years of his glittering career, and Rodgers is aware that he will not be able to be a key part of his first XI in a few years.
Hughes is said to have a bright future ahead of him after impressing in the Championship.
The classy playmaker has been tipped to graduate to the Three Lions’ senior squad over the coming years and secure a move to the top tier.
Derby are keen to keep their star man, but are believed to be willing to sell for around £10m.
Liverpool are ready to meet their demands, but may insist on paying some of the fee in performance-related add-ons.
Would Liverpool be landing a genuine future star if they sign Will Hughes?
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