According to The Daily Mirror, Virgil Van Dijk’s representative met with Liverpool and Arsenal with transfer negotiations on the table.
Virgil Van Dijk is aware that he will have his pick of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City in the summer and this is evidenced by the fact that his agent spoke to both Arsenal and Liverpool last week.
Manchester City is said to be Van Dijk’s preferred destination but Pep Guardiola has his eyes on Juve’s Leonardo Bonucci and Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte. While the former is unlikely to leave, even to join Guardiola, Laporte could be tempted to join the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager.
And that would suit Liverpool as it would leave Virgil Van Dijk free to join Liverpool.
Despite common belief, money isn’t an issue for Liverpool and the Reds could pay as much as £50 million for Van Dijk this summer, according to The Liverpool ECHO.
Not only does Liverpool intend to spend £50 million on Van Dijk, they have the backing of former players and pundits with John Barnes telling The Liverpool ECHO, “If it takes spending £50m to get Van Dijk and Klopp wants to do that and believes that’s the right deal for the club then I’d back him.”
A central defensive partnership of Jöel Matip and Virgil Van Dijk flanked by Nathaniel Clyne and likely James Milner is a very solid back four. The key to success then would be keeping those four players fit for 38 games plus however many games Liverpool manage in the Champions League.
Many supporters might raise their eyebrows at spending £50 million on a centre-half but it’s been a long time coming with their being a total lack of leadership and quality at the back for many years.
Dejan Lovren recently signed a contract extension and despite the total social media meltdown, the Croatian is unlikely to play any more than a bit part role next season – similar to what Ragnar Klavan has done this season.
With the number of games Liverpool will have next season likely to be increased due to Champions League commitments, depth will be huge for Liverpool and Klopp seems to have had the foresight to act on this by extending Lovren’s contract.