Liverpool have been named as a potential destination for Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt, with the youngster facing an uncertain future in Turin.
What is the word?
According to Calciomercato, the Merseyside side “must not be overlooked” in the race to sign the 22-year-old, with the centre-back potentially up for grabs with just two years remaining on his existing contract.
The Netherlands international – who signed with Ajax in a £67.5m deal three years ago – is believed to have a €125m (£107m) release clause ) in his existing contract which can be activated this summer, although this figure will reach 140 million euros (£119.5m) in 2023.
This follows reports last week suggesting the Premier League side were interested in a deal for the 37-cap colossus, but with Jurgen Klopp and co, unsurprisingly, not alone in their interests.
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 managed to bring a 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 over recent seasons, playing a vital role in the Champions League triumph in 2019 and the success of the league title the following season. .
Hailed as the “greatest centre-half of all time” by specialist Michael Owen, the 30-year-old hasn’t made a mistake in his 181 appearances for the club in all competitions, his impact having been felt during his long injury in the 2020/21 campaign, Klopp’s men suffered.
The 6ft 4in 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 jumps won and the top 7% for completion of jumps. assists against their continental peers. .
Although it proved a tricky stint in Italy for De Ligt, the £63million-rated gem is undoubtedly a true defensive force in his own right, with the Reds unlikely to find a better long-term heir. term of Van Dijk than his compatriot.
Nicknamed a “freak” by David Amoyal, the £200,000-a-week behemoth first burst onto the scene as a teenager at Ajax, leading a youthful side – led by new Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag – to half-backs Champions League finals in 2019 and putting themselves firmly on the map in the process.
A “brutal” defender – in the words of one reporter – the former Golden Boy winner is a threat at both clubs and plays with a maturity that belies his years, finding it hard to believe he’s still only 22.
His youth means he has plenty of time to start anew should he opt for a new home in the near future, with Liverpool providing him with the perfect platform to succeed – he just has to look at the impact his international colleague did.
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