Liverpool supporters in the Transfer Tavern are gearing up for the Champions League final this weekend, with their side eyeing a sixth European crown when they face Real Madrid in Kiev.
Jurgen Klopp’s men got past Roma 7-6 on aggregate in the semi-finals to book their place in Saturday’s showpiece, but will be well aware that they will need to be at their best to beat the two-times defending champions. But having also got past the likes of Manchester City, Porto, and Sevilla during their European campaign so far, there are many optimistic Liverpudlians in the Tavern ahead of this weekend’s clash in the Ukrainian capital.
In the meantime though, there has been plenty for our resident Reds fans to get their teeth into, not least recent reports linking Manchester City with a summer move for Ajax sensation Matthijs de Ligt.
And these fresh reports should trigger the Reds into making a summer move for City’s £45 million-rated defender John Stones (as per Transfermarkt), as the Englishman could suffer from de Ligt’s arrival during the close season.
Ultimately, 18-year-old de Ligt looks on course for a bright future in the game based on his efforts so far for Ajax, and as such would add a great deal to Pep Guardiola’s already-talented array of centre back options at the Etihad Stadium.
Yet it would appear that Stones is near the bottom of that pecking order at present, what with Nicolas Otamendi, Vincent Kompany, and Aymeric Laporte very much commanding more regular football in the second half of the campaign – de Ligt’s arrival would only serve to push him even further down that list.
And with reports in the last few months linking him with a move away, to Liverpool no less, Klopp’s men must seek to make a move for the England international following reports of a possible City move for de Ligt, as they themselves seek centre back reinforcements in a bid to challenge the Citizens for the Premier League title next term.
Clearly, Virgil van Dijk’s arrival back in January has made a big difference to Liverpool’s defensive efforts in the second half of the campaign, but there remains some doubts over the season-long capabilities of Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip, both of whom have made high-profile errors over the course of the season.
And while some will be concerned that Stones has also been guilty of a few errors, one mustn’t forget that he played a big part in helping establish City’s Premier League dominance in the first half of the season, and indeed appeared to have improved the defensive part of his game under Guardiola’s guidance.
And alongside the authoritative van Dijk, the 23-year-old is only likely to further improve, and indeed help to form a formidable partnership with the Netherlands international at the heart of Klopp’s backline.
Thus, fresh reports linking City with de Ligt should trigger Liverpool to make a move for Stones, as he appears to be the centre back at the Etihad likely to suffer the most from de Ligt’s potential arrival.
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