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Liverpool step up bid to sign Ajax starlet

Liverpool are believed to have started the process of trying to land highly-rated Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt ahead of their rivals.

The Reds are focused on the Champions League final against Tottenham, but that is not stopping them from working on deals for next season and in-demand De Ligt is now a top target.

They will have to move quickly to secure a deal though, such is the interest in the player, and the often reliable sports journalist Guillem Balague claims the Reds have already started talks.

Barcelona would appear to be favourites to land the 19-year-old, who has stood out in an Ajax side that has won a domestic double and made it to the semi-finals of the Champions League before losing to Tottenham.

Liverpool would have to pay upwards of £50million to have a chance of doing a deal, but will also face competition from Juventus, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.

De Ligt is seen as the perfect player to play alongside fellow Dutchman Virgil van Dijk in the heart of the Reds defence and would no doubt be tempted by such a move.

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