Liverpool have been named as a potential destination for Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt, with the youngster facing an uncertain future in Turin.
What’s the word?
As per Calciomercato, the Merseyside outfit ‘should not be overlooked’ in the race for the 22-year-old’s signature, with the centre-back potentially up for grabs with just two years remaining on his existing contract.
The Netherlands international – who signed from Ajax in a £67.5m deal three years ago – reportedly has a €125m (£107m) release clause in his existing contract which can be activated this summer, although that figure will rise to €140m (£119.5m) in 2023.
This follows reports last week that suggested the Premier League side were interested in a deal for the 37-cap colossus, albeit with Jurgen Klopp and co unsurprisingly not alone in their interest.
Klopp’s next Van Dijk
Any potential deal could see the former Borussia Dortmund boss land his next Virgil van Dijk, with the 55-year-old having already enjoyed success in bringing one Dutchman to Anfield in recent times.
Signed on a £75m deal from Southampton in 2018, the current Reds star has gone on to prove a talismanic figure for the club in recent seasons, playing a vital part in the Champions League triumph in 2019 and the subsequent league title success the following season.
Hailed as the “best centre-half of all time” by pundit Michael Owen, the 30-year-old has hardly put a foot wrong in his 181 appearances for the club in all competitions, with his impact having been felt most notably during his lengthy spell out with injury during the 2020/21 campaign, with Klopp’s men suffering as a result.
The commanding, 6 foot 4 leader is an almost impenetrable asset and arguably one of the most accomplished players in his position in Europe, notably ranking in the top 8% for aerials won and the top 7% for pass completion in comparison to his continental peers.
While it has proven a tricky stint in Italy for De Ligt, the £63m-rated gem is undoubtedly a real defensive force in his own right, with the Reds unlikely to find a better long-term heir to Van Dijk than his compatriot.
Dubbed a “monster” by David Amoyal, the £200k-per-week giant initially burst onto the scene as a teenager at Ajax, leading a youthful side – managed by new Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag – to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2019 and putting himself firmly on the map in the process.
A “brutal” defender – in the words of one journalist – the former Golden Boy recipient is a menace in both boxes and plays with a maturity that belies his years, with it hard to believe that is still only 22.
His youth means he has plenty of time left to kick on again should he opt for a new home in the near future, with Liverpool offering the perfect platform for him to be a success – he only has to look at the impact that his international colleague has made.
AND in other news: Bid made: FSG now in LFC talks to land “world class” £60m “storm”, imagine him & Nunez