Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld has revealed he is open to making a summer move to Liverpool but ruled out a switch to the Reds' Premier League rivals Newcastle United.
The Belgium international has impressed in the Eredivisie in recent seasons and has been heavily linked to a host of top England sides of late, including Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Everton and Newcastle.
Liverpool are keen on signing a new centre-back in the summer, with Jamie Carragher retiring at the end of the season and concerns mounting over the performances of Martin Skrtel and Sebastian Coates. Alderweireld has now confirmed his affinity for the Merseyside outfit and also stated he does not want to play for the Magpies, who are currently 13th in the league table.
"I do not want to play for an English mid-table club. Unlike Newcastle, Liverpool meet my criteria," the Express quoted the 24-year-old as saying.
It is understood that Ajax have offered Alderweireld an extension to his current contract, which is set to expire in 2014. However, the Belgian feels he is now ready to follow in the footsteps of compatriots and former Ajax team mates Thomas Vermaelen and Jan Vertonghen, who moved to England with Arsenal and Tottenham in recent years.
Alderweireld, who has four goals to his name from 40 appearances in all competitions for Ajax this season, earlier claimed he fancied a transfer to either Arsenal or Tottenham.
"If the time is right, it will come, but now Ajax is the most important thing. Ajax is a very nice club. It won't be hard to play here all my life - but if I had to choose it have to be a nice club like Ajax again and there aren't many of them. But a club such as Arsenal or Tottenham - they are fantastic clubs and would be a step forward," the defender said.
Alderweireld can also operate as a right-back.