Ajax star Tony Alderweireld could be set to spark a Merseyside bidding war after it was reported that both Liverpool and Everton are keen to sign the talented defender.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has made it clear that signing a defender is a priority this summer as he looks to find a suitable replacement for the retiring Jamie Carragher.

Toby Alderweireld
Toby Alderweireld has impressed since coming through the Ajax academy. [Reuters]

Across Stanley Park, Everton boss David Moyes is also believed to be keen to securing the services of the Belgium international who would be joining his fellow countrymen Marouane Fellaini and Kevin Miralles at Goodison Park.

However, with Moyes yet to sign a new contract with Everton, Liverpool may feel as though they stand a better chance of persuading Alderweireld to leave Ajax.

The Daily Mail reports that the versatile defender would likely cost in the region of £7million having played an important part in the Ajax first team for the last four seasons.

Alderweireld has made 39 appearances in all competitions this season, with his ability to play either at right-back or in the centre of defence making him an invaluable member of Frank de Boer's side.

The 24-year-old came through the Ajax academy and has made close to 200 appearances for the club since making his debut back in 2009. He has been capped 23 times by Belgium and competes with the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelenn for a place in the starting line-up.

Alderweireld had formed an impressive partnership with Vertonghen at Ajax before the defender made the move to Tottenham Hotspur, where he has continued to excel.

With Liverpool still having doubts over Martin Skrtel and Sebastian Coates, it seems inevitable that more than one defender will arrive in the summer and Rodgers has made numerous trips to Ajax over the course of the season.

He fits the club's policy of signing young international players and they would hope that he could make a significant impact, just as Daniel Sturridge and Phillippe Coutinho have done since signing in January.

However, they may well have to compete with Everton who are currently above their rivals in the table and are seeking to secure European football for next season in what could be David Moyes' final season at Goodison Park.