Liverpool could face a battle to keep hold of crucial defender Virgil van Dijk, according to a report in Spain.
Nacion Futbolera claim that Barcelona have decided on Van Dijk as the man to turn their fortunes around, with president Josep Bartomeu, manager Ernesto Valverde and star man Lionel Messi all in agreement that the Dutchman fits the bill.
According to the Liverpool ECHO, the Reds’ sporting director, Michael Edwards, struck a deal with Barcelona when Coutinho signed for the Catalans that meant an £89 million ‘Coutinho tax’ would be added to any transfer value if the Spanish side wanted another Anfield star.
That clause, though, is now set to expire having been negotiated over 18 months ago and will no longer apply next year – it was only for players Barcelona wanted to purchase before 2020.
Van Dijk would be valued at well over £100 million and there is no reason to believe that he would like to leave Anfield, where he has undoubtedly established himself as the best centre-back on the planet.
Barcelona might want him, and the expiration of the Coutinho clause might that slightly more realistic for them, but the Reds should be hopeful he will be staying put.