Liverpool are seemingly prepared to enter the new Premier League season without addressing a priority position and signing a new central defender.
Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk remains to be the club’s first choice defensive target but is in fact the only centre-back the Reds are pursuing, according to the Times’ Paul Joyce.
This thereby rules out the chance of Liverpool turning to an immediate alternative were an eventual official approach to fail.
A bid is yet to have been made for the Dutchman, despite him boasting a place high on Jurgen Klopp’s transfer wishlist and having been linked to an Anfield switch since the end of the Premier League season.
The reasons for such a delay are well-known amongst Reds with the club publicly ‘ending all interest’ in the player following a complaint from Southampton regarding an apparent illegal pursuit.
Regardless of the early setback, there is still an expectation that Liverpool will reignite their interest and make an all out attempt to secure their top target.
Southampton have continued to reaffirm they have no intention of selling Van Dijk, although it will be interesting to see how a bid around their supposed £70million asking price impacts their stance.
Not signing Van Dijk would ultimately mean Klopp once again putting his faith in a first choice partnership of Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren who, admittedly, looked strong together at times last season.
This would almost certainly mean backup Ragnar Klavan staying at the club while also potentially promising more opportunities for youngster Joe Gomez in the senior team.
That said, the departure of a previously make-shift central defender in Lucas Leiva suggests there could be a confidence that Van Dijk is still a possibility.
And so it continues…