Liverpool urged to rival Barcelona for perfect Van Dijk partner De Ligt Published on 5/1/2019

Former Ajax defender Mario Melchiot believes the highly-rated Netherlands international would be a shrewd addition for Jurgen Klopp at Anfield

Liverpool have been urged to make a “smart” move for Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt, with Mario Melchiot considering his fellow Dutchman to be the perfect partner for Virgil van Dijk.

The highly-rated 19-year-old already operates alongside a £75 million ($97m) centre-half at international level with the Netherlands.

It could be that the commanding duo get the opportunity to further that understanding at club level.

Jurgen Klopp will have to move quickly, though, if such a deal is to be done, with De Ligt attracting admiring glances from leading sides across Europe.

Barcelona and Juventus are among those leading the hunt, but former Ajax star Melchiot believes Anfield could be the ideal destination for the current holder of the prestigious Golden Boy award.

He told talkSPORT: “My boys at Ajax are of course going to try and hold onto him for as long as they can, but they know they’re coming into a difficult situation with De Ligt.

“I like him as a player, he’s very smart.

“He went through a very difficult spell when he first broke through because he made a couple of mistakes for the national team so the country was jumping on his back.

“But I think that shifted his mindset and made him an even better player.

“Now, the way he’s playing right now, I think if Liverpool were smart they’ll go after him.

“De Ligt and Van Dijk, those two together would be a great partnership.”

Ajax have conceded that they will find it difficult to retain the services of De Ligt this summer.

They have already sanctioned a €75 million (£65m/$85m) switch for Barcelona for Frenkie de Jong and are expected to see a number of other players head for the exits in the next transfer window.

Interest has built steadily in the prized assets within an exciting young squad, with the Eredivisie title hopefuls having showcased their talent this season during a memorable run to the Champions League semi-finals.

They are due to be back in European action on Tuesday when they take in the first leg of a last-four showdown with Spurs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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