Liverpool have reportedly reignited their interest in Virgil van Dijk and have given Jurgen Klopp permission to try and sign the Dutch international.
As per a report by The Mirror, the Reds have given their consent for Jurgen Klopp to try and sign the towering Dutchman. The 26-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Anfield in the summer, but Southampton managed to hold off the Reds and keep their star defender.
The Reds had to publicly apologise for any ‘misunderstandings’ that may have been caused with the Saints and van Dijk eventually returned to the starting XI, after missing the first few games of the season, having put in a transfer request.
The former Celtic defender has since reclaimed his place in the starting XI, starting every game since making his first Premier League start back in September, and is likely to start against Liverpool when the two sides face each other on Saturday.
Since joining Southampton back in 2015, the Dutchman has gone on to establish himself as one of the best centre-backs in the English top flight. His aerial prowess, physicality combined with his technical ability have made him a force to be reckoned with.
Van Dijk was linked with a move to other top Premier League clubs besides Liverpool and last month, Barcelona were said to be weighing up a move for the Dutchman after their scouts were reported to be watching him in international duty for the Netherlands.
Even Saints’ boss Mauricio Pellegrino couldn’t guarantee that Van Dijk would still be at St.Mary’s at the end of the transfer window, saying, “I don’t know. I can’t control the market. You never know, because when we talk about money everybody has got a price. The budget is to sign players and the biggest teams have got money to try to sign players.”
Liverpool have done fairly decently so far this season and are currently fifth in the Premier League table, three points away from the Champions League spots. Their only defensive reinforcement in the summer though, was left-back Andrew Robertson from Hull City.
But, with Liverpool struggling massively on the defensive front, a new centre-back is the need of the hour. Van Dijk would be a perfect mid season signing for Jurgen Klopp’s side. He would walk into the heart of the Reds’ defence and give them that extra bit of quality, especially in set-piece situations.
Howevwr much he costs may be a deciding factor for the Merseyside outfit. Southampton are set to command a staggering £70 million fee, and it remains to be seen whether Liverpool spend that kind of money in January to bring yet another Southampton player to Anfield.