"We can confirm that Brendan Rodgers was here on Sunday," said a Feyenoord spokesman when asked if the Liverpool manager had watched the Eredivisie club dispatch PSV Eindhoven over the weekend. And when it comes to who Rodgers might have been there watching, the conversation begins and ends at one name: Stefan de Vrij.
With rumours linking Liverpool to the 21-year-old centre half throughout January and it looking increasingly likely that the club will have to bring in a number of players at his position over the summer, Rodgers' presence serves as confirmation that Feyenoord's young captain is indeed at—or at the very least near—the top of his list of potential summer signings.
Jamie Carragher is retiring, while Martin Skrtel and Sebastian Coates are clearly out of favour with the Liverpool boss, and even if the likes of Martin Kelly or Andre Wisdom are penciled in as centre backs for the future there seems a need for at least two new signings as Rodgers looks to overhaul the defence.
However, what's less clear is whether de Vrij is being targeted to partner with Daniel Agger or if he would be brought in as the club's third centre half while a more veteran presence like Ashley Williams was acquired to fill a starting role for at least the short term.
Regardless of how Rodgers sees the young Dutchman slotting in, de Vrij will have only a year left in his contract come the summer. It could mean a bargain price for the highly rated defender—though given how highly rated he is, it could also mean a bidding war for his services regardless of his contract situation.
It's also worth asking if Liverpool would be de Vrij's first choice even if he is the club's. Feyenoord are strong contenders for the Eredivisie's second Champions League slot—and a near lock to at least make it into the Europa League next season. As such, it would be difficult to imagine de Vrij leaving the club he's captain at to join a Liverpool side out of Europe, even if by all accounts the player is looking for a change of scenery and favours England.