Liverpool target Christian Eriksen would appear to be moving closer to an exit from Ajax after manager Frank de Boer revealed he already has a replacement for the Dane lined up.
The 21-year-old recently heightened speculation regarding his potential move away from the Amsterdam Arena when he claimed he is likely to leave the Eredivisie outfit should an offer from a big club come in.
With just one year left on his current contract, De Boer has given his strongest indication yet that the Denmark international will leave the Dutch capital this summer by announcing he has already identified potential replacements within the club's ranks.
"It is not possible for us to replace Eriksen by buying a player of similar quality," De Boer is quoted as saying by Voetbal International.
"So it is better for us to look to replace him from within and I am thinking about people like Lasse Schone, Davy Klaassen, Thulani Serero and (Riechedly) Bazoer."
Eriksen has already turned down the opportunity to move to Bayer Leverkusen as he awaits a concrete offer from a club that can match his own ambition. Liverpool and AC Milan both remain persistently linked with the midfielder who is ready to bring an end to his hugely successful spell at Ajax which has yielded three back to back Eredivisie titles.
The creative midfielder has resisted the temptation to leave Ajax in the past after working his way through the club's revered youth ranks to become an integral member of the first team.
But after five years in the Dutch capital, Erksen feels he is ready to make a move to a club with a more established presence in Europe.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has indicated he is still looking to bring more players to Anfield having already added Simon Mignolet, Kolo Toure, Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto to his ranks.
While playing down suggestions of any imminent arrivals, the north Irishman indicated the club have their eye on players capable of having an instant impact on the first team.
"They have got to have the right quality, that's the bottom line," Rodgers said.
"We've got the money to spend on getting that quality in but if it's not available I won't waste it for the sake of bringing a player in.
"We're really working hard to bring in the type of profile that can really help us push on."