Moussa Dembele of Celtic (L) attempts to take the ball past Gerard Pique of Barcelona (R) during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Celtic FC and FC Barcelona at Celtic Park Stadium on November 23, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland.
All rights reserved by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Europe

According to the Express, Liverpool are ready to raid Celtic and Southampton for Moussa Dembele and Virgil Van Dijk respectively.

With Mamadou Sakho leaving in January and Sadio Mane jetting off to Gabon to take part in the 2017 African Cup of Nations, Liverpool will have several gaps in what looked to be a strong squad in August.

Sadio Mane has been one of the Premier League’s best performers this season and despite having his £34 million move from Southampton criticised, he has risen to the occasion and helped Liverpool to victory on several occasions.

When Mane leaves in January, there will be a real lack of pace in Jürgen Klopp’s side and this could have detrimental consequences for Liverpool’s title challenge, which looks more and more credible as each game passes. Last season, without a traditional winger, Liverpool struggled to break down teams who defended deep in their own half.

Since the Senegal international joined Liverpool, teams have been exploited by Mane’s incredible turn of pace and by how difficult it is to predict what he is going to do. Without Mane, though, there is a void which needs filling and a man who could do a job for Liverpool is Celtic’s Moussa Dembele.

The Express reports that £20 million is the fee required to land Dembele but that comepetiton for his signature will complicate matters. Tottenham, PSG, and Real Madrid are all interested in the Frenchman and Madrid are willing to loan the winger back to Celtic to allow him to continue his development.

As far as Sakho’s replacement is concerned, the Express also reports that Liverpool could sign Virgil Van Dijk for around £30 million. The Dutchman has emerged as one of the Premier League’s best central defenders and his composed but aggressive playing style is one that likely appeals to Jurgen Klopp.

It would, however, cause an issue where Dejan Lovren is concerned. Joel Matip is definitely Liverpool’s best defender, but Lovren’s form would make it seem very harsh if he was dropped to accomodate a new signing. That being said, sentiment needs to be removed if Liverpool are to bolster their ranks and challenge for the league.

Manchester City are also interested but an early bid in January could persuade Van Dijk to move and the opportunity to win the league with Liverpool could sway the Dutchman to move from the South Coast to Merseyside.

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Michael Mongie
Just like you, I am a hugely passionate Liverpool supporter. I started Rousing the Kop in January 2015 and since then it has grown tremendously and has even been nominated as 'Best New Football Blog' in the Football Blogging Awards.

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