Liverpool facing Abramovich battle for Dutch defender target

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Liverpool face competition from Chelsea in the race to sign Dutch defender Gregory Van der Wiel, according to reports.

The Ajax full back has been linked with a string of clubs across Europe, with AC Milan and Juventus from Italy keen and Real Madrid leading the Spanish chase.

However, Barclays Premier League interest has been strong for some time now, with both Liverpool and Arsenal linked with summer moves before Chelsea and Manchester United joined the chase in January. claimed earlier this month that Ajax are ready to sell the player, with agent Hakim Slimani confirming the interest.

"The situation is at the moment he is playing for Ajax and he is fighting for the Championship. At this moment we will have to wait to see what happens in the summer," he told the website.

"Despite the rumours I cannot say anything special about any one club. We assumed he would have made a transfer after the World Cup but a move to Bayern Munich was not finalised. We will look to try and secure a move for him but it could be Italy, England, or Spain as well. We have no club who is 100% sure about a transfer.

"If (Jose) Bosingwa leaves Chelsea there will be an opening for Gregory, but it depends what happens with a number of players."

Kenny Dalglish is thought to be in the market for a full back, and while a left-sided defender is believed to be the priority for Liverpool, Van der Wiel would strengthen the club's back-line considerable.


Glen Johnson has filled in on the opposite side of his usual right-back position on a number of occasions, and could provide a long-term answer for Liverpool should 23-year-old Van der Wiel be purchased.

As Slimani eluded to a fortnight ago, Chelsea full back Jose Bosingwa is reportedly considering a summer Stamford Bridge exit, leaving Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti searching for a replacement.

Clubcall claims Chelsea scouts have been monitoring a number of players, with Van der Wiel one of those being watched amidst uncertainty over his future at the Amsterdam Arena.

Van der Wiel is believed to have a £17m release clause in his contract, and Roman Abramovich could be called upon to bring the World Cup runner-up to London. However, Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group have pledged transfer funds to Dalglish, and a tussle could ensue between the pair this summer.

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