Premier League • England

Slot hits major Liverpool transfer setback as star’s wife puts foot down over Merseyside move

David Hancko, Liverpool

Liverpool fan David Hancko has been tipped for a move to the Reds

The wife of Liverpool target David Hancko has hinted where the Feyenoord man is heading next – and it may not be the Premier League.

Hancko was one of Slovakia’s biggest young talents when he joined Fiorentina in 2018, aged 20, but the defender’s move to the Serie A side never worked out.

After signing a five-year deal with the Italian outfit, he made just five first-team appearances, and spent two seasons out on loan at Sparta Prague, before joining the Czech Republic team permanently in 2021.

Following an impressive 2021/22 campaign in the Czech First League, where he made 44 appearances and scored 10 goals, Feyenoord signed the centre-back for just over £5m on a four-year contract in August 2022.

Under the tutelage of Arne Slot, the Slovakia international blossomed, playing 93 times, scoring 11 goals and bagging eight assists in all competitions – as he barely missed a minute for the Dutch giants.

DON’T MISSLiverpool ‘in talks’ to sign defender after Arne Slot demand but Leicester pose ‘significant’ threat

Not long after Slot swapped Feyenoord for Liverpool, the 26-year-old, who can also play at left-back, was linked with a move to Anfield.

The 6ft 2in defender is reportedly valued at around £30m by the Eredivisie team, who will want to maximise their profits for a player who still has four years left on his contract.

Going by his past comments, a move to the Reds would appear to be a dream move as he has been a supporter of the club for nearly two years now.

He previously told Aktuality: “It all started with the Istanbul Champions League final in 2005, which my parents allowed me to watch until the end, and I didn’t have to go to bed even when extra time was going on. And then came (fellow Slovakian) Martin Škrtel.

“I have been a Liverpool fan ever since. I follow the English Premier League the most, so that is my dream. My role model has always been David Beckham, but I feel most for Liverpool.

“So far nothing is happening. Because of my new contract, it won’t be easy. If there is a possibility and it is good for us, why not?”

‘He’d like to move on’

However, going by his wife and professional tennis player, Karolina Pliskova, a move to the Premier League is unlikely, with the Czech favouring a European destination.

She told Czech Republic newspaper Sport: “It will be dealt with this summer. Probably only after the (Euros) championship, but I’m not such an expert.

“I don’t know if it’s up for grabs, but I think he’d like to move on. Actually, we would both be happy. We’ll see what will happen in the end. I’m not complaining, but there are definitely better places. For me, Spain or Italy.”

While this does not mean a move to Serie A or La Liga is set in stone, this may be something of a blow for Liverpool – as they try to improve on their third-place Premier League finish from this season.

READ MORE‘Everything lined up’ for top Liverpool star’s exit as Barcelona talks imminent

And going by the remarks of former Feyenoord defender and Netherlands international, Tim de Cler, that would be a real loss for the Merseyside outfit.

Following Slovakia’s 1-0 win over Belgium in their Euro 2024 opener, De Cler waxed lyrical about Hancko, saying he would handle a move to Liverpool or Atletico Madrid.

He said: “He (Hancko) is so stable and can basically do anything. I just think he is a top defender all-round. If he makes it to the next round, and that chance is quite high, his market value will also increase again.

“More and more clubs are becoming interested. And they were already there. I think he can easily handle a club just below the top six in Europe. Then I’m talking about a club like Atlético Madrid or Liverpool. He can certainly handle that.”