Liverpool superstar Virgil van Dijk has reportedly rejected an opportunity to join La Liga champions Barcelona in the ongoing transfer window.
According to a report from the Mirror, Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk was a subject of interest for La Liga champions Barcelona. But, the Dutchman has rejected the Catalan giants’ approach in favour of continuing his stay with the reigning European champions.
Virgil van Dijk has established himself as one of the finest defenders in Europe since joining Liverpool from Southampton in January 2018, for a world record fee of £75 million. The Dutchman led the Reds to the finals of the UEFA Champions League in his debut campaign, before helping them lift the European title this past season and finish second in the Premier League.
van Dijk was named the PFA Player of the Year for the 2018-19 season and having played an integral role in Netherlands’ run to the UEFA Nations League final, the centre-back has become one of the top contenders for this year’s Ballon d’Or award. Naturally, the best of clubs have grown interested in signing him, with Barcelona emerging as a suitor.
Barcelona won the La Liga title last season, but were dumped out of the Champions League by Liverpool and failed to win the Copa del Rey as well. Manager Ernesto Valverde is under pressure to deliver European success that has eluded the Catalans for four years now and to that end, he is intent on boosting his squad across all areas.
Frenkie de Jong’s signing has strengthened the midfield while Antoine Griezmann has arrived from Atletico Madrid in a €120 million deal to boost the attack. And Barcelona now have their eyes set at a new defender. Matthijs de Ligt had been their primary target for most of the summer, but the Ajax captain is closing in on a transfer to Juventus, prompting Barcelona to look elsewhere.
This has led the La Liga champions to identify de Ligt’s international teammate van Dijk as a target. As per the report, Barcelona already made an approach to the Liverpool star’s representatives to enquire about the possibility of a summer transfer. However, they were met with a firm rejection by van Dijk’s camp.
The former Southampton man is an integral member of the Liverpool setup and under the guidance of Jurgen Klopp has grown into arguably the best defender in the game currently. So, it is extremely unlikely that he would want to leave Anfield at the moment, where he has become a cult figure, while the Reds too will not want to lose out on their best player either.
As a result, Barcelona’s interest in van Dijk is unlikely to bear any fruit. The Catalans should focus their attention elsewhere to boost up their defence, with Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof emerging as a potential alternative.