Liverpool are in pole position to sign Southampton’s superb centre-back Virgil Van Dijk, reports John Cross in the Mirror.
According to the veteran journalist, Jurgen Klopp has put all his eggs in the Dutchman’s basket and the lure of working for Liverpool’s German is appealing to the towering defender.
Liverpool actually kept five clean-sheets in our final six fixtures of the Premier League campaign, but problems at the back ruined our title challenge and consistent injuries to Joel Matiop and Dejan Lovren meant we were often deploying Ragnar Klavan or Lucas in their roles.
Van Dijk will cost £50m, but the report suggests Liverpool are also ready to pay him £200k/week in order to convince him of a Merseyside switch.
Cross writes: “Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City are locked in a four-way battle for Southampton’s Dutch centre half with Antonio Conte’s newly-crowned champions believed to be in pole position.
“But it is understood that Liverpool have a genuine chance of doing a deal because van Dijk is attracted by the proposition of playing for Klopp. Klopp is ready to make it clear that he will make van Dijk his defensive kingpin, that he can become a Kop legend and that he is the only centre half he is interested in this summer.”
Van Dijk proved during the first half of last season that he’s a tremendous defender, but a £50m price-tag comes with huge risks, especially considering he hasn’t played since January due to injury.
We’ll surely wait for him to regain full fitness before we make an offer, but signs are that we’ll do all we can to convince the defender of Klopp’s project.
If he were to arrive, he’d follow Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Sadio Mane from St. Mary’s to Anfield.