This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Liverpool have begun to firm up their interest in Ajax's highly-rated centre-back Toby Alderweireld, as Bayer Leverkusen slip out of the picture in the race for the Belgian's signature.
Alderweireld has just one year remaining on his contract at the Amsterdam ArenA and is keen to move to a bigger league.
He has spoken positively about the prospect of playing in the English Premier League and, studying his options carefully, even admitting that Liverpool tick all his boxes.
However, Leverkusen had made the running in recent weeks, although the Bundesliga outfit, coached by former Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia, believe Ajax's asking price is too high, while Alderweireld himself has been less than pleased at the wages on offer in Germany.
Now, according to Tutto Mercato, Liverpool are making moves to firm up their interest in the 24-year-old.
Despite the Reds snapping up Kolo Toure on a free transfer from Manchester City, they are still believed to be looking to sign another defender.
Alderweireld has been well scouted by Premier League sides and acquiring the Belgian would be seen as something of a coup for the Reds.