Liverpool battle confirmed in race for free Dutch star

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Liverpool target Urbe Emanuelson is wanted by a string of European clubs, claims the player's agent.

The Dutch international full-back is set to be one of the hottest properties available for free in the summer after failing to agree a new deal at the Amsterdam Arena, meaning Liverpool could potentially secure a pre-contract agreement in January.

The Dutch giants have intimated that they do not wish to let the player leave in the winter transfer window, and representative Brian Berkleef reiterated that point in publication De Telegraaf, meaning Liverpool would have to wait until next season to have the player officially.

"There is quite a lot of interest," said Berkleef.

"I won't say anything about the clubs that are interested. A transfer in the winter break is not an option. He wants to leave Ajax in a good way," the agent finished.

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is thought to have identified 'five or six' players to bring to Anfield for next season, with new owners NESV pledging to invest in transfers at Anfield. They have reportedly handed the Reds boss a £35 million war chest to spend on young, talented players.

Emanuelson fits that category, but Liverpool will face strong competition for the player, with Hamburg, Borussia Dortmund, Everton, Lazio, Porto, Villarreal, and Juventus all thought to be interested in the player.

The player joined the famed Dutch club's academy back in 1994, and made his senior debut as a teenager over a decade later in 2005. The versatile defender, who can also play on the left wing, has made over 150 Eredivisie appearances and also played in the Europa League and Champions League.

A full international, the 24-year-old has 11 caps to his name already.

The Merseyside outfit are thought to be leading the race for the player at present, although Liverpool are sure to face challenges along the way for such a coveted player.

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