Liverpool have ‘set their sights’ on Ajax youngster Jorrel Hato in the January transfer window as he continues to impress in the Eredivisie, according to Football Transfers.
The reports claims that the Reds are closely monitoring Hato ahead of a possible transfer this winter. Jurgen Klopp’s side were interested in signing a centre-half last summer as part of their squad rebuild but failed to bring in any of their defensive targets.
The Merseysiders were linked with a move for several defenders including Chelsea’s Levi Colwill, Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi, and Bayer Leverkusen’s Piero Hincapie.
Klopp has five centre-backs at his disposal including skipper Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, and academy graduate Jarell Quansah. Van Dijk and Matip are both 32 years of age and Klopp knows he needs to look ahead to the future.
Matip, Gomez, and Konate are all injury-prone and have missed several games for Liverpool in the past few seasons. Though Gomez and Konate are young, persistent injury issues are hampering their progress.
Quansah is seen as a promising centre-back and has already featured twice this season from the bench, however, the German does not want to rush the England U-21 international.
Hato had a breakthrough season at Ajax last term and has been a regular under Maurice Steijn so far. He has made 20 appearances for the first team since making his debut in a 2-0 win over Den Bosch in KNVB Cup back in January.
Last season, the 17-year-old featured in 11 Eredivisie games, but in total, he racked up 44 appearances, scored two goals, and provided one assist for both the youth and senior teams.
The Netherlands U-17 star has been ever-present for Ajax, featuring in five games and registering one assist across all competitions as they lie 11th in the Eredivisie table this campaign.
Liverpool already have some Dutch players in their squad including Van Dijk, Cody Gapko, and summer signing Ryan Gravenberch and they could help Hato settle at the club if he completes a move to Anfield.
The highly-rated youngster, who has two years left on his contract with Ajax, is valued at just £4m by Transfermarkt, but Liverpool would need to pay a lot more to secure his signature.