Barcelona are apparently concerned that Liverpool could use the allure of playing alongside Virgil van Dijk to sign Ajax wonderkid Matthijs de Ligt ahead of them.
The Dutchman was widely expected to join Barcelona this summer, but talk of an imminent deal has slowed down amid concerns over the cost of any potential deal for the 19-year-old.
With De Ligt's future now uncertain, Mundo Deportivo (who have near daily 'updates' on the ongoing saga) claim that Barcelona fear they could miss out on the youngster to Liverpool, who can offer him the chance to play alongside international teammate Van Dijk.
Jurgen Klopp's side are one of many to be linked with De Ligt, and the defender has also hinted at a possible move to Anfield after previously admitting that playing alongside Van Dijk at club level would be great for his development.
He specifically stated that a move to Liverpool 'could happen', sending the Anfield faithful into a frenzy.
As a result, according to a separate report from Mundo Deportivo, the Blaugrana have stepped up their pursuit of De Ligt.
They had attempted to act with caution as they did not want to distract either Ajax or De Ligt from their Champions League journey but, with Erik ten Hag's side now out of the competition, Barcelona are not prepared to move slowly anymore.
4 - Matthijs de Ligt is the fourth teenager to score in a Champions League semi-final, after Nordin Wooter (1996, Ajax), Obafemi Martins (2003, Inter Milan) and Kylian Mbappé (2017, Monaco). Colossus. #AJATOT pic.twitter.com/FleS9Iq1zQ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 8, 2019
Some of the top executives at Camp Nou flew to Amsterdam to meet with representatives of both Ajax and De Ligt to discover how much the deal would cost, and they are thought to have been quoted a fee of around €75m, similar to that paid for teammate Frenkie de Jong in January.
The relationship between the two clubs is said to be superb as a result of Barcelona's respectful conduct throughout the season, and they are now nearing the green light to pursue this deal.