Liverpool are slyly emerging as favourites to sign Matthijs De Ligt – thanks in no small part to super-agent Mino Raiola and Reds defender Virgil van Dijk.
The 19-year-old defender has emerged as one of European football’s hottest properties this summer amid reports Ajax are prepared to let him leave for a fee of around €80m (£70.8m).
On Wednesday it emerged that De Ligt has five offers on the table this summer, with Manchester United, Juventus, PSG, Liverpool and Barcelona all having made approaches to sign him.
However, reports in Spain claim the centre-half has already eliminated three of those clubs from his thinking, with moves to Manchester United (due to a lack of Champions League football), PSG and Juventus – primarily because he wants to either move to England or Spain this summer – all ruled out.
And according to Sport, De Ligt will choose between moves to either Liverpool or Barcelona this summer, with the Spanish paper now suggesting Jurgen Klopp’s European champions, who not much has been written about in pursuit of the player, emerging as genuine contenders.
And Sport says Raiola could well be advising his client to move to Anfield for three major reasons.
Firstly, it’s claimed Raiola believes De Ligt’s career will benefit enormously from playing alongside Van Dijk on a weekly basis and help the player’s game improve beyond all measure.
Secondly, Raiola believes Liverpool will be strong contenders to dominate Europe for a number of years; the Reds underlining their credentials this weekend by winning the Champions League for the sixth time in their history.
And finally, the super-agent believes that a move to Anfield would be financially rewarding. Manchester United and PSG are said to offered ‘dizzying amounts’ to De Ligt, but Liverpool’s strong financial position – together with their regularity of rewarding improved contracts to their top stars – could prove equally as lucrative to the player over the long-term.
De Ligt is expected to speak to Van Dijk about the possibility of moving to Liverpool during the international break and it’s likely the Reds defender will paint a pretty picture about life at Anfield.
Reds fans will get a look at how the duo perform together on Thursday evening as the pair line up in the heart of the Netherlands defence as they take on England for a place in the Nations League final.
De Ligt has said very little about his future, but reports have suggested a decision on his future will be taken after Holland’s Nations League duties have been concluded. That tallies with what the player said over his future last week when he commented: “I am very excited about what the nearest future may bring me.
“But I am also calm, I see it as a challenge, that is the most important thing.
“There are several options, what I do is to see which is the best option, it seems logical that one option is better than the other.”
Liverpool, meanwhile, have been boosted further by the news that Van Dijk is willing to hold talks with the club over further extending his contract at Anfield.
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