Liverpool pull plug on centre-back chase to leave door wide open for Tottenham to complete dream deal

Frankfurt's Randal Kolo Muani (l) plays against Wolfsburg's Micky van de Ven.

Liverpool have reportedly pulled out of the race to sign a major Tottenham centre-back target, leaving the door open for Ange Postecoglou’s men to complete an expected £30million transfer.

Wolfsburg star Micky van de Ven is the player in question, with the 22-year-old emerging as a Spurs target in recent weeks as new boss Postecoglou looks to fix a defence that was struggled throughout last season.

The north London side conceded 63 goals in 38 Premier League games last term, with none of their current centre-backs covering themselves in glory – especially in the second half of the campaign.

Dutchman Van de Ven enjoyed a breakthrough season for the German outfit last term, starting 33 matches in the Bundesliga as Niko Kovac’s men finished eighth.

He began his senior career at Dutch second tier outfit FC Volendam, before making the move to the Volkswagen Arena in the summer of 2021 for a fee of around £3m.

Most recently he was a member of the Netherlands Under-21 side that failed to reach the knockout stages of a European Championship that was won by England.

Liverpool were originally linked with Van de Ven after they hired former Wolfsburg director football Jorg Schmadtke this summer.

However, it’s reported by Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung claims that after a discussion between Jurgen Klopp and Schmadtke they both agreed that the Reds should cool their interest in the player.

That leaves the way clear for Tottenham to wrap up their own chase for the talented defender, who has been dubbed the next Virgil van Dijk in his homeland.

Spurs are Wolfsburg have so far failed to agree for the player, with the German side wanting in excess of £30m. However, it’s thought productive talks took place on Monday to edge the transfer that bit closer.

Tottenham have several centre-back targets 

Van de Ven is not the only centre-back on Tottenham’s radar, however, with Bayer Leverkusen’s Edmond Tapsoba and Borussia Monchengladbach star Ko Itakura also tipped to join the Postecoglou revolution.

But the main focus in north London on Wednesday has been the return of Harry Kane to pre-season training.

The future of the club’s all-time leading goalscorer is very much up in the air as Bayern Munich and PSG continue in their pursuit of the England skipper.

As for Liverpool’s transfer buisness, the fact they still Van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez as their centre-back options negated the need for signing Van De Ven.

However, Klopp is still expected to add to his squad before the window shuts, with another midfielder or a forward player the main areas of need.

The Reds kick off the new season with a trip to Chelsea next month, while Tottenham head to London rivals Brentford.

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