Liverpool face a race against time if they are to beat Borussia Dortmund to sign Christian Eriksen.
Borussia Dortmund appear to have beaten Liverpool in the race to sign Christian Eriksen from Ajax, with German publication Bild reporting that a fee has been agreed between the clubs, and that the player had been released by the Eredivisie champions to discuss personal terms.
Sky Sports Germany report that Ajax have already lined up a replacement for Eriksen in Adam Maher of AZ Alkmaar, and that as a result their Danish playmaker’s exit could be finalised this week.
Liverpool have long been linked with a deal for Eriksen, with Ajax technical director and former Arsenal star Marc Overmars admitting that Reds scouts had regularly been seen watching the 21 year-old in action.
“We have the list of scouts of foreign clubs who have been here recently, and Liverpool have been a regular visitor,” said Overmars at the end of March.
“We want him to stay here for at least two more years, but the day he leaves us, he will be ready to play for the very best.
“He’s a player even the biggest clubs in the world could do with having in their squad.”
Borussia Dortmund see Eriksen as the successor to the Bayern Munich bound Mario Goetze, who will leave Signal Iduna Park upon the opening of the transfer window at the beginning of July.
However, Liverpool may still have a chance to sign Eriksen if they can match Dortmund’s bid – even though the Reds are not in the UEFA Champions League next season, they are clearly still an enticing destination to players thanks to their pedigree.
“I have read the stories and Liverpool is definitely an option,” said Eriksen last month.
“It is also one of the clubs that is held in higher prestige than Amsterdam, as it’s a different league and of a different calibre. It sounds very exciting, but we will have to look at if there is actually something in it.”
Despite such encouraging words, it appears that Liverpool have switched focus to Shakhtar Donetsk star Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and a £20m deal could be done this week.