Liverpool have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt.
The Reds are rumoured to be interested in a move for the Dutchman, but looked like they would face competition from Barcelona for his signature.
However Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre has revealed the club are nowhere near a deal for de Ligt , and played down reports they would be attempting to sign him.
Speaking to Sky, Mestre said: “I don’t know why they’re saying this [that a deal is complete] because [De Ligt] hasn’t signed.
“The defenders we already have are of the highest level.
“In De Ligt’s case, we’ll speak with the sporting director at the end of the season and we’ll speak not about De Ligt, but about what they say.”
Mestre’s comments suggest the Catalan club are not in the market for a new central defender, which would leave the door open for Liverpool to swoop for de Ligt.
It was thought that de Ligt would follow Ajax teammate Frenkie de Jong to Spain when he moves to Barca this summer.
However a switch to Liverpool could now be on the cards, where de Ligt would join up with international teammates Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum.
The 19-year-old has produced a number of impressive displays this season, as Ajax top the Dutch league and have reached the last four of the Champions League.