Tottenham’s £40m summer signing Micky van de Ven was not willing to wait for Liverpool, who were planning on making a late move for him in the summer transfer window, TEAMtalk understands.
The 22-year-old Netherlands international central defender was recommended to the club by their recently-appointed sporting director Jorge Schmadtke.
Schmadtke was the sporting director at Wolfsburg when the German side signed Van de Ven from Volendam in 2021.
And while Jurgen Klopp was also keen on Van de Ven, midfield remained the club’s priority throughout the transfer window.
The Reds completely overhauled that sector with Alexis Mac Allister and Bundesliga trio Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch all coming to Anfield this summer with Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner among those to leave on a permanent basis.
Liverpool held talks with Wolfsburg about the 6ft 4in centre-back while Van de Ven’s camp were well aware of the club’s interest and that they were keen on making a bid.
However, once Tottenham opened talks it meant Van de Ven had a decision to make and sources close to him say he had no hesitation in pushing for Spurs.
Liverpool ready to make 2024 move for defender
Liverpool are already looking at defensive options ahead of a potential move for another central defender in January.
Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip remain Klopp’s only senior options in that position.
Club captain Van Dijk will miss the weekend game at Wolves while he serves the second of a two-game suspension while Konate picked up a thigh injury earlier in the season and has not played for the club since August.
The 2019/20 Premier League champions returned 10 points from their opening four matches of the season ahead of the international break but look short in the centre of defence with Gomez and Matip expected to start at Molineux.
Chelsea’s Levi Colwill and Piero Hincapie of Bayer Leverkusen were among those reportedly looked at by Liverpool in the summer while links with Sporting CP’s Goncalo Inacio were also frequently mentioned.
Van de Ven, meanwhile, has taken to life in the English top flight promisingly and is impressing Spurs fans with his performances thus far for Ange Postecoglou’s reinvigorated side.