Liverpool have made their first move to sign Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus amid uncertainty over his future, according to reports from Italy.
Calcio Mercato to say that de Ligt would ideally like to spend at least another season at Juventus but is not ruling anything out, including a summer exit.
Liverpool are well-stocked in defense at the moment and it was recently reported that Joe Gomez is set to sign a new contract despite a lack of playing time.
But de Ligt is one of the brightest young defensive prospects in world football and of course an international teammate of Virgil van Dijk for the Netherlands.
Liverpool have made their first move to sign de Ligt
The report, which also refers to interest from Chelsea, reads: “In addition to the Blues, there is Liverpool who, a few weeks ago, started to take their steps towards De Ligt, rather concrete.
“The problem is a contract renewal. A sale cannot be ruled out. The Dutchman is busy with his contract extension with Juve, knowing that he is one of the most coveted defenders in the world.
“He did not ask to be sold. In his plans, he would still have at least one more season at Juventus, but he doesn’t even want to rule anything out. This is why a central aspect of this renewal negotiation is precisely the value of the release clause.
“If Juve are pushing for an extension of at least one season, it’s for budgetary reasons but also to freeze De Ligt’s position for at least a summer.
“If De Ligt is open to renewal it is because he knows that at the moment a sale would be complicated and that the release clause makes him almost unsaleable since he is at €125m (£106m) then rises to €140m (£119m) next season.
“Raising the release clause to around €75-80m (£63.8-68m) would allow De Ligt to be the master of his own destiny. Even at the cost of seeing the possibility of activating the same release clause postponed for a season.“
It’s pretty much guaranteed that Liverpool wouldn’t pay a UK filing fee to activate their release clause. It’s just not consistent with what they do.
But should Juventus sell for financial reasons, a deal could be done and Liverpool have been such a smart operator in the transfer market in recent years.
They have already made their move and they will have an idea of the lay of the land, with the possibility of striking a deal if there is one.
Even if Liverpool don’t really need another centre-back, this could be a great opportunity at the right price, but it’s the only way the Reds can complete this deal.
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