Toby Alderweireld
Norwich are hoping to sign Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld who has been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool. [Reuters]

Norwich City have emerged as surprise contenders to sign Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld who has been heavily linked with a potential move to Liverpool.

Dutch champions Ajax have accepted the fact that they are likely to lose the versatile defender and have already secured a possible replacement by signing Mike van der Hoorn from FC Utrecht.

Liverpool had been credited with interest in Alderweireld and were believed to be the favourites to sign the Belgian after Bayer Leverkusen decided that his price tag was too steep.

However, it seems as though Norwich could well land the 24 year old after his agent confirmed that Ajax had been contacted by representatives of the Premier League club.

"I understand they [Norwich] made contact with Marc Overmars [Ajax's director of football]," the defender's agent Soren Lerby told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

"Toby has left the pre-season camp of Ajax in Austria due to personal reasons and I haven't spoken with him about Norwich yet. I don't know if Toby is interested in a move or not."

Alderweireld has previously indicated that he would be keen to ply his trade in the Premier League and it seems his father believes that Norwich have a good chance of concluding a deal.

"There have been no talks with us yet," the player's father Vic Alderweireld told Belgian paper Het Nieuwsblad. "[But] Norwich have played things correctly by first contacting Ajax. This week, things will become much clearer and we will know how interesting the offer is."

The Belgium international was mentioned as a possible replacement for Jamie Carragher at Liverpool but there is yet to be any official bid or contact from the Merseyside club.

This may well have allowed Norwich to take pole position as manager Chris Hughton attempts to further strengthen his squad having already secured the services of Dutch hitman Ricky van Wolfswinkel and exciting young winger Nathan Redmond.

Alderweireld has just one year remaining on his contract at Ajax and it seems inevitable that he will follow in the footsteps of international colleagues Jan Vertonghen and Thomas Vermaelen who both left the Amsterdam Arena to play in the Premier League.