Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld has denied that he will be joining Liverpool this summer.
The Belgian had been linked with a move to Anfield as a replacement for the retiring Jamie Carragher.
Ajax have always had a reputation of blooding quality young players and their current manager Frank De Boer has continued that tradition.
Unlike in times gone by though, they can no longer afford to keep their best players from Europe’s big clubs.
Jan Vertonghen and Thomas Vermaelen are another two Belgian defenders to leave Ajax for Premier League clubs in recent seasons.
Liverpool signed Luis Suarez from Ajax a couple of seasons ago and thought they were in a good position to land Alderweireld.
Sky Sports report that Alderweireld was quoted in a Dutch newspaper saying that Liverpool ‘meets my criteria’ for his next club.
‘I never said Liverpool would be my next club’
But Alderweireld now seems to be going back on that and distancing himself from a move. Speaking in the Dutch Metro he said: “I have also read that Liverpool would be interested, I never said Liverpool would be my next club. Nothing is true about that.
“Ajax is in every way a fantastic club. We play for prizes every year and we also show good things on a regular basis in Europe, after the season I will look at my options. Possibly, I even stay at Ajax.”
The latest news will be a major blow to Brendan Rodgers and his transfer plans. If Alderweireld is willing to reject the chance of joining his team, it sends a message out to other quality players across Europe.
Keeping Luis Suarez, even after his recent behaviour on the pitch, must be made Liverpool’s top priority for the summer. If they can’t attract quality players to join them, then they have to keep hold of the few they already have.