Liverpool’s Under-18 coach and greatest midfielder of all time Steven Gerrard has waxed lyrical about Virgil van Dijk, despite Southampton reporting us to the Premier League for tapping the player up.
The Dutchman has already agreed to sign for Liverpool, rejecting the attention of Chelsea and Manchester City, but no fee has been decided upon, with the Echo suggesting Southampton want an absurd £75m fee.
A £60m fee would still make Van Dijk the most expensive defender in the history of football, so it’s clear that Southampton are playing hardball after three consecutive summers of being excavated of their best talent by Liverpool.
Gerrard though thinks the 25-year-old could be key to Jurgen Klopp’s chances of Premier League success.
“I would love to see Van Dijk in a red shirt. I am a huge fan,” he told the Independent. “I thought he was fantastic at Celtic and I thought we should have had a go for him back then.
“It will cost us a few more quid but I think he is a piece of the jigsaw that would be very welcome and very big for this team.”
Liverpool have put all our eggs in Van Dijk’s basket, so will not be chasing alternatives until we either buy the player or decide that Southampton’s asking price is simply too much.
The Saints want a bidding war, but with the player already choosing Liverpool, it’s effectively a one-horse race…
However, it’s looking likely to drag on, simply because Southampton want to save face.