Reports in the Mirror that Manchester City have won the race for Virgil Van Dijk are false, claim the much more reliable Liverpool Echo.
The national had suggested Pep Guardiola had got Southampton’s man ahead of Liverpool and Chelsea, thanks to a £60m transfer offer and wages of £200k/week – but Ian Doyle rubbished this story.
He writes that Liverpool are still very much in a three-way tug-of-war with City and Chelsea for the Dutchman’s services, and reiterates that we’ve had very positive discussions with the centre-back’s representatives.
The 25-year-old is Jurgen Klopp’s no.1 target to improve our leaky, inconsistent backline, and the club is ready to smash our £35m transfer record in order to conclude a deal.
Van Dijk, arguably the best centre-back in the country last season before injury cruelly ended his campaign, will set potential suitors back between £50m and £60m – an outrageous sum that says much about the current state of the transfer market.
The defender is excellent, but if Liverpool shied away from a deal because of these absurd sums, we’d understand. There’s plenty of good centre-backs available, such as Roma’s Manolas or Napoli’s Koulibaly.