Liverpool are reportedly continuing their pursuit of Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk even though the player is understood to be on Arsenal and Chelsea’s radars.
According to a report by The Sun, Liverpool are still keen on securing a deal for Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk despite the fact that the Dutchman is also being targeted by Arsenal and Chelsea. Liverpool have been the most determined out of all his suitors, and are interested in a whopping £60 million deal.
Virgil van Dijk received his first big break in British football when he joined Celtic back in 2013. The Dutchman played brilliantly and became a mainstay for the team in no time. Often compared to Rio Ferdinand for his style of play, the Dutch centre-back joined Southampton in 2015.
Since then, he has been a rock in the Southampton back-line and gradually established himself as one of the most dependable centre-backs in the English top flight, which attracted the attention of big clubs like Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.
The Reds were believed to be front-runners after the player reportedly admitted to wanting to join Jurgen Klopp. However, Liverpool were understood to have used an illegal way to approach Van Dijk following which the Saints threatened to file a complaint, which prompted them submitted an apology.
Chelsea have signed Antonio Rudiger this summer but Antonio Conte seems to be lacking for dependable options beyond the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill. If he manages to sign the player though, he will be happy to have secured the services of a strong defender to man his back-line.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s centre-backs Shkodran Mustafi and Per Mertesacker have endured multiple injuries, while Rob Holding’s inexperience of playing in the top flight has seen him put in a number of nervy displays.
Adding van Dijk to the fold can help Wenger put up a commanding presence at the back, especially with the future of Mustafi up in the air. Klopp and co. on the other hand, have been linked with van Dijk ever since the transfer window began.
Finding a dependable partner for Joel Matip appears to be the need of the hour for Klopp since Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan have struggled to maintain consistency. Moreover, van Dijk is brilliant when it comes to aerial challenges and that could potentially be an asset for Klopp’s side which has often struggled in set-piece situations.
Considering van Dijk’s presence and skills, he will be an asset for any club he joins. As the situation stands though, joining Liverpool seems to be the ideal option for him since the Reds have clearly established a strong attack but are struggling with their defence. It now remains to be seen if the player departs from Southampton in January.