With star 19-year-old centre half Matthijs de Ligt’s long presumed Barcelona move not quite wrapped up, the past few weeks have seen the rumour mongers trying to wring a little bit of mileage out of the idea that some other club might swoop in and steal him.
The club meant to do the swooping, of course, are Liverpool. They have the money, the appeal of joining Jürgen Klopp’s project, and De Ligt’s national team defensive partner (and current best defender in the game) Virgil van Dijk. Plus they just beat Barcelona.
According to The Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce, though, it’s not going to happen. Liverpool, he says, aren’t talking to the player. They aren’t talking to Ajax. Put simply, they aren’t trying to do a deal and Klopp quite likes his current centre half options.
It’s hard to argue with that, at least. Liverpool have Virgil van Dijk, after all. Along with Joël Matip and Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren, they arguably have the best quartet of centre halves of any team right now—even if those three have had some fitness issues.
That’s not to say De Ligt wouldn’t improve his options, but for the fee Ajax will get back for him it would be a difficult move to justify. On the flip side, of course, De Light is the best young defender in the game. If he wanted to come you don’t say no to that.
Plus, last summer Pearce and other connected Liverpool journalists were certain the club wouldn’t be signing Alisson. And there’s a Champions League final still to come—the club will want to keep the focus there and avoid potentially unsettling transfer talk.
Those wanting to keep the idea of De Ligt to Liverpool alive will say all that, but realistically there’s been nothing at all solid so far in talk he might be Liverpool-bound, and certainly nothing on the level of the links between the club and Alisson last summer.
Is it impossible, then, that Liverpool might actually be in for De Ligt but are just keeping it quiet until after the final? No, it’s not impossible. However, it’s highly, highly unlikely, and we’d continue to advise against anyone getting their hopes up.