We’re very skeptical of this claim, especially considering we were being told Virgil van Dijk would be a Liverpool player ‘next week’ back in June…
But journalist Ian McGarry (not someone we can vouch for) has claimed to have inside knowledge on the deal for Southampton’s Dutchman to sign.
He says that the delay is so that Southampton can maximise profit and get a replacement in beforehand – before selling teams hike prices due to Saints’ hypothetical cash windfall.
“The whole thing of Van Dijk not for sale is a holding tactic,” McGarry told The Transfer Window podcast:.
“1) To get more money for the player out of the buying club, in this case Liverpool and 2) waiting until confirming a replacement to take over from Van Dijk.
“By this time next week (Thursday) Van Dijk will already be given a squad number by Liverpool and that’s where he’ll be playing his football this season.”
“Van Dijk has seen himself in the red jersey of Liverpool.
“In my experience if they’ve already in their minds moved club, then they would rather go to that club than another.
“It would take an awful lot of money in terms of a contractual offer to assuage Van Dijk away from Liverpool and instead to Chelsea.”
We’d love this to be true, but have stopped getting up any hopes this transfer window.
It would be preposterous if we didn’t make any moves before the end of August, especially considering our injury record and the pressure of Champions League football – but that doesn’t mean we will.
For us, it’s pretty obvious that if we don’t sign a centre-back, a midfielder and cover for Sadio Mane and Mo Salah – we’ll come unstuck consistently.
We’d love to be wrong and for the current squad to remain fit and compete on four fronts, but why gamble when there’s so many good players out there who’d love to join?