Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk - either inadvertently or intentionally - created a bit of excitement among those focused on the club’s potential transfers when he recently suggested that his compatriot Matthijs de Ligt would be, or should be, on the club’s radar. The Ajax teenager is anticipated to be the focus of several clubs’ attention in the near future, such are the expectations surrounding the defender’s talent, so ears naturally perked up when Van Dijk dropped the name.
If there ever was any concrete interest on Liverpool’s part in the young central defender, those hopes have now purportedly been dashed by Barcelona’s entry into the fray. The Mirror, among others, have suggested that Ernesto Valverde’s club have prioritized De Ligt, and that Barcelona are prepared to spend big this summer to bolster an area of increasing need.
Despite having also been linked with another potentially expensive flavor du jour, Frenkie de Jong, Barcelona have come to grips with the fact that Gerard Piqué is not going to get any younger. After watching the youngster put in some solid performances against some of the toughest attackers playing in Europe, Barcelona are now set on making De Ligt the next big name dutchman to play at the Camp Nou. The player himself is reportedly open to the move.
That leaves Liverpool . . .still in a pretty good position defensively. Having already broken a record to sign Van Dijk, it was always somewhat unlikely that the club would do so again so soon for another central defender, especially with Joe Gomez making an unexpectedly solid claim to start over Dejan Lovren. With Joël Matip perhaps looking at an exit, the club may need more dependable depth at the position, but another outlay in excess of £60m seems un-Ligt-ly.