Liverpool is said to be in hot pursuit of Southampton ace Virgil Van Dijk as Jurgen Klopp attempts to rebuild his defence with stronger players.
Amid reports of Premier League greats like Chelsea and Manchester City vying to sign the Dutchman, Liverpool has now emerged as the most likely club to sign the player in the summer, the Daily Mail reported.
The Merseyside club have had a good season so far, as they sit in the third position right now. However, a recurring problem for them has been to put up a strong defence. Looks like Jurgen Klopp is taking every measure to change that, which would explain as to why he is so keen on signing Dijk. If Klopp does manage to sign him, it would be a huge boost to Liverpool.
The Dutch defender has been impressive for Southampton this season, but his campaign has been marred by a long-term ankle injury – one which he is currently recovering from.
Although Klopp is said to have taken a major interest in him now, Chelsea and Manchester City have been touted to keep an eye on the defender for quite some time now. In fact, Pep Guardiola’s side is reported to have even sent a scout to St Mary’s stadium back in November, when Van Dijk was declared Man of the Match in a goalless draw against Liverpool.
Interestingly, Ronald Koeman – the Everton manager – is also in the fray for the 25-year-old defender. Koeman would want reunion with the player, but it appears highly unlikely that Van Dijk would sign on for Everton when there’s Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea waiting in line.
Klopp is on a determined mission to add to his defensive forces, especially after the injuries sustained by Joel Matip and Dejan Louvre, which would probably mean that he doesn’t regard them as first choice selections at this point.
Southampton’s manager Claude Puel might not want Van Dijk to leave, but due to his injury, he has been inactive for the club in the recent few months, meaning there will be immense pressure to possibly broker a good deal for him once the windown opens. The Saints have supplied several Premier League teams with good quality players over the years.
Liverpool has progressed a lot under Klopp this season, and he would hate to see all the hard work go to waste. In order to avoid that, the defence needs good additions, and Van Dijk fits the kind of profile that would do well in Liverpool. It has also been reported that Liverpool are ready to splash exorbitant amounts of money to give Klopp the new personnel that he needs.
The club’s fans are said to desperately want Mamadou Sakho to return, who is currently on loan at Crystal Palace, and is doing really well. However, Klopp remained tight-lipped as to whether or not that’s happening anytime soon, since there was no clause in the contract that gives them the first option on signing him back.
With the race to sign Virgil Van Dijk heating up, Klopp should be prepared to have a couple of back-ups in mind, just in case things don’t go his way.