Liverpool have been urged to make a “smart” move for Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt, with Mario Melchiot considering his fellow Dutchman to be the perfect partner for Virgil van Dijk.

Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt will move to the Premier League or LaLiga, according to director Edwin van der Sar.

De Ligt has become one of Europe’s most sought-after players amid Ajax’s fairytale run in the Champions League, which dramatically ended in the semi-finals at the hands of Tottenham.

The 19-year-old centre-back has been linked with Barcelona – who will sign team-mate Frenkie de Jong at the end of the season – Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Juventus.

Van der Sar dismissed a transfer to Serie A champions Juventus as he talked up England and Spain prior to Ajax’s stunning 3-2 loss on Wednesday, which eliminated the Dutch giants 3-3 on away goals.

“I think these will be De Ligt’s final games with Ajax, but I hope he goes out on a high,” Van der Sar told Sky Sport Italia.

“He’s been here since he was a child and will end up at a big club.”

On De Ligt – who scored the opening goal on the night in Amsterdam midweek before Lucas Moura’s hat-trick sent Ajax packing – Van der Sar added: “I think he’ll go to England or Spain.”

The future of head coach Erik ten Hag has also been discussed amid reported interest from German champions Bayern Munich.

Asked about Ten Hag, Van der Sar said: “We intend to keep hold of Ten Hag, that is our intention.

“We know there will be a lot of changes within the squad, but we’d at least like to confirm the coaching staff.”

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