As has become clear over the past week, Liverpool are still in the hunt for Virgil van Dijk.
It looked like we were destined to miss out on Jurgen Klopp’s primary centre-back target when FSG released a statement apologising to Southampton and withdrawing from the pursuit, but it appears this may have been a temporary tactic to ensure the Premier League didn’t continue its investigation into our illegal approach.
According to respected Sunday Times journalist Jonathan Northcroft and Echo mainstay James Pearce, the deal is very much ‘still on’.
Here’s what they told the Liverpool Review Podcast:
Northcroft: “If Klopp wants Van Dijk more than anything I think he will get his way and Liverpool will pay what Southampton want.”
“Once the new manager comes in and the player comes back, Van Dijk may become a problem Southampton don’t want to have.”
The Echo’s James Pearce agreed and said:
“I don’t think the Van Dijk saga is over by any stretch. I wouldn’t be surprised if Liverpool are just letting that one lie.”
“It’s going to be interesting to see how it pans out. If he does end up at Liverpool it will be much later on in the window.”
The fee required to buy the 25-year-old is still going to be gargantuan, as Southampton have him tied to a . five-year contract.
But as Northcroft suggests, if the player himself kicks up a fuss and demands a transfer when he returns from holiday, the Saints might decide to cash in and avoid cutting their noses off to spite their face.
He’s clearly the man Klopp wants, but our manager and the fanbase is going to have to wait very patiently to get him.