Barcelona haven’t given up hope of signing Philippe Coutinho but they may have made Liverpool’s job easier ahead of the January transfer window.
The Catalan giants had been tipped to resurface as an unrelenting nuisance to the Reds this winter by targeting Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk.
Liverpool had identified the Dutchman as their one and only centre-back target in the summer, but saw their chances of signing him ultimately dashed by a complaint against an alleged illegal approach early in the window.
Though the club continued to monitor the defender’s situation at St Mary’s, no official bid was ever made and Van Dijk was forced to stay put against his wishes.
Barcelona have now pulled out of the race for the 26-year-old and opened the door for Liverpool to spearhead the race for his signature, according to Mundo Deportivo.
An evidently distracted Van Dijk seemingly remains intent on continuing his career elsewhere, and could be granted the chance to finally do so come January.
It seems unlikely he would back track on the strongly-worded transfer request he issued in August, in which he claimed to have been fined wages after being forced to train alone.
He has been far from convincing so far this season, but there is little chance Jurgen Klopp would pass off the opportunity to sign him were he to become available.