Liverpool’s chances of signing Virgil van Dijk from Southampton this summer looks slim despite the player wanting a move to Merseyside.
I can assure you if the next month and a half passes without Liverpool signing a new centre back and Dejan Lovren starts in central defence for the Reds next season, supporters will riot.
For the last few years, Liverpool have been average at best, failing to quite catch up with their rivals and this is largely due to failing to recruit the right defensive personnel.
With a lack of quality at the back for Liverpool in recent years proving to be the club’s downfall in all domestic and European competitions, it would seem as though Jürgen Klopp has prioritised bringing in top-class players, with a centre-back his highest priority.
Yet, the chances of Liverpool signing Virgil van Dijk are slim to none after the public apology the Reds submitted following their “tapping up” of the Dutchman.
According to James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo, Liverpool’s chances “of landing Jürgen Klopp’s top defensive target currently look remote.”
The Echo reporter makes an interesting comment, saying that even if Liverpool had not been exposed in their illegal approach of van Dijk, they likely would have found themselves in a similar position to where they are now.
Given Southampton’s stance on selling their captain and best player, it was unlikely they would have sold him regardless of the circumstances that have been presented.
All that is now clear is that Liverpool have made things all the more difficult for themselves.
What happens next in the Virgil van Dijk saga will depend on what happens when he returns to Southampton for pre-season training.
James Pearce reports that the only “realistic” way for Liverpool to “re-enter the race for van Dijk” is if Southampton’s stance on selling him changes and they listen to offers for the centre-back.
Adding onto that, if Chelsea are negotiating with Saints over van Dijk, Liverpool will involve themselves in the conversation with the fact that the defender wants a move to Anfield working in their favour.
With the 2017/18 season of massive importance for Liverpool, it’s vital that this transfer window can be called a success at the end of it.
Having already secured the signing of Mohamed Salah from AS Rome for £36.9m plus add-ons, the next step is to sign a central midfielder, a left back and a centre back.
It could soon emerge that Liverpool have moved on from van Dijk as pre-season draws nearer and following that, the new Premier League season.
Liverpool have some big decisions to make and moving on from van Dijk might be important to signing a centre-back this summer that will take the club forward.