Liverpool-linked defender’s agent states which club are ‘in first place’ to snap him up this year

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Liverpool could be at risk of missing out on a reported defensive target who’s impressing for his country at Euro 2024.

The Reds are believed to have enquired about a possible move for David Hancko, the Slovakia centre-back who’s played under Arne Slot at Feyenoord for the past two seasons, although fellow suitors Atletico Madrid appear to be in pole position to land the 26-year-old.

His agent Branislav Jasurek had told Slovakian publication RTVS“I have to say that, of all the clubs that are currently interested in David, Atletico is in first place for us.

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“Others are more like conversations. Some are friendly because we’ve known each other for a long time. Some are new. At this point, nothing has come up that David is thinking about it more than Atletico.

“The second thing is that it is not yet a completed transfer. Both David and I like [the idea of joining Diego Simeone’s side], but they will decide in Feyenoord.”

Jasurek also poured cold water over reports from elsewhere that Hancko has a release clause in his contract at De Kuip.

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Hancko is a boyhood Liverpool fan and has previously described playing in the Premier League as his footballing ‘dream’ (Daily Express), so there definitely appears to be scope for the Reds to swoop if they’re truly interested in him.

From Jasurek’s comments, though, it seems that the Anfield hierarchy haven’t been overly proactive in their pursuit of the Slovakian, certainly in comparison to Atletico.

The 26-year-old was colossal during his nation’s win over Belgium last week, producing a stunning goalline clearance to preserve the 1-0 lead that they held to the final whistle, although he hobbled out of the defeat to Ukraine four days later with an injury concern.

With Slot looking to bring in a left-sided centre-back as a priority this summer (TEAMtalk) and Hancko fitting that niche in Liverpool’s squad, it’d certainly appear to be in Richard Hughes’ best interests to move swiftly to try and win the race for the Feyenoord defender.

There’s still time for the Reds to accelerate their pursuit of him and beat Atletico to the punch, although Jasurek’s update would suggest that the window of opportunity is narrowing.

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