Liverpool have been handed a major boost in the race to sign Ajax star Christian Eriksen, with the Danish international hinting he is likely to leave the Eredivisie champions in the summer.
"I didn't hear anything from my agent but, if something shows up, I feel like trying. When nothing comes up, I'll sign a new contract at Ajax because I want Ajax to earn something for me," Eriksen explained.
The 21-year-old playmaker has had a good season with Frank de Boer's side scoring nine times from 14 league appearances. And that form has earned him attention from Manchester United and Tottenham, apart from the Reds.
However, Brendan Rodgers is believed to be leading the race to sign the Dane, with Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars confirming persistent scouting by the Reds' officials. Equally importantly, Eriksen is aware of Liverpool's interest and is pleased with the way former team mate Luis Suarez has been received at Anfield.
The one point of concern for Liverpool will be the transfer fee. As things stand, an earlier comment by the player confirmed an asking price of £17m. And that may be a tad too high for Rodgers, who is expected to get only £20m this summer, exclusive of money earned by player sales.
And with the need to sign a top-class centre-back, to replace the retiring Jamie Carragher, paramount, prudence may be the name of the game at Anfield. Of course, if Rodgers can sign a defender on a free transfer - the club have been linked to Brazilian Douglas - then money could be freed up for an approach for Eriksen.
Eriksen has only a year left on his contract, which means he will either leave in the summer or, as he said, sign a new deal. If he does sign a new contract, then expect his transfer value to jump for the summer of 2014.
Sturrdige: Carragher Will Be Missed
Meanwhile, England international Daniel Sturridge has joined the list of players praising Jamie Carragher and warning the club they will miss his presence next season.
"He's a very experienced player who's been at this club for many, many years. He'll be missed behind the scenes as well as on the football field. He's a great man as well as a great player," the former Chelsea player told the club's Web site.