Former Fleet Street journalist Ian McGarry believes that Virgil van Dijk will be a Liverpool player come the middle of next week.
Former Fleet Street journalist Ian McGarry – yeah, me neither – is convinced that Southampton centre back Virgil van Dijk will be at Liverpool by the end of the window and that he could even be moved on as soon as Thursday.
Southampton have remained adamant publicly that the Dutchman will not be sold this summer but McGarry believes the south coast club are just using “holding tactics” to force the Reds to pay more money and that van Dijk has his mind set on Liverpool, no one else.
“The whole thing of Van Dijk not for sale is a holding tactic,” McGarry said.
“One, to get more money for the player out of the buying club, in this case Liverpool and two, waiting until confirming a replacement to take over from Van Dijk. By this time next week (Thursday) Van Dijk will already be given a squad number by Liverpool and that’s where he’ll be playing his football this season.”
He added: “Van Dijk has seen himself in the red jersey of Liverpool.”
“In my experience, if they’ve already in their minds moved club, then they would rather go to that club than another. It would take an awful lot of money in terms of a contractual offer to assuage Van Dijk away from Liverpool and instead to Chelsea.”
McGarry’s statement comes alongside news that Juventus have entered the race for the Southampton captain as they seek to replace Leonardo Bonucci. With the Dutchman having already been banished to train on his own before handing in a formal transfer request, it looks increasingly unlikely that Southampton will be able to hold onto him this summer.
Whether he will be a Liverpool player, however, remains to be seen.