Liverpool are back on their perch. Having won the Champions League final against Tottenham on Saturday night, that is now a fact.
Gone are the days where the Reds are playing second fiddle to Manchester United. Their rivalry has spanned years and Jurgen Klopp’s Merseyside magic has seen a power shift take place in another twist to their everlasting tale.
Liverpool have, in the Premier League era at least, never had it so good. They are European champions, they were close to winning the title and, whether United fans or staff like it or not, only going to get better.
This team, this current side, is good enough to win the lot. Where’s the weakness?
Is it in goal? No. Alison Becker is excellent – better than David De Gea this season – and proven to be a snip at £60million.
The defence is stunning. Virgil van Dijk is a rock, Trent Alexander-Arnold wise beyond his years and Andy Robertson a weapon designed to attack and defend in equal measure.
Higher up the pitch, Liverpool are also well-stocked. Fabinho, James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Giorginio Wijnaldum were not viewed as Champions League winners three or four years ago. How times have changed.
And we need not touch upon Liverpool’s front three. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino’s contributions speak for themselves.
Over at Manchester United, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are looking for reinforcements to close the gap. One insider has been quoted as saying they want to sign as many players as they sell.
And on their radar is De Ligt, the rock who has reawakened a sleeping giant with Ajax and is now Europe’s hottest property.
Links to Barcelona are beginning to cool down. The Catalan giants want him – but not at any price. Their European rivals are willing to outbid them for the teenager.
United are among them. Like every Galactico signing, Ed Woodward sees the shirt sales. The marketability. The diamond in the rough ready to sparkle.
But Liverpool want him too. And signing him would signify the power shift taking place.
United are dreaming too big. Their name counts for something, but not everything. Gone are the days they can rely on that alone.
What can they offer De Ligt? Money, yes. A prediction, not a promise, they will be back competing sooner rather than later. A commission for his mischievous agent Mino Raiola.
But Liverpool can offer so much more.
Who wouldn’t want to play under Jurgen Klopp? He’s enthusiastic, the epitome of the modern-day manager. He smiles, but he’s tough. He’s a winner. He is ambitious.
Solskjaer has similar traits but it’s taken Klopp four years to show how good he is at Liverpool. In that sense, United are four years behind.
United’s need is obviously greater. To concede 54 Premier League goals this season is a disgusting stat for a team possessing some of the world’s most-expensive players.
De Ligt would certainly help them out, the ying to Victor Lindelof’s yang. But we’re speaking hypothetically. The Ajax captain is wise, shrewd and ambitious. None of those characteristics make a move to United possible.
If Liverpool get him, it would sum up what we already know. That the Reds are miles ahead of their rivals.
But it would also ensure it stay that way. De Ligt and Van Dijk at the back would be a recipe for success. A centre-back so strong not even Manchester City may be able to stop it.