Liverpool will battle for the signature of Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk with the likes of
Manchester City and Chelsea are among other clubs vying for the Dutchman
Jurgen Klopp is keen to strengthen his defence with signings that show intent
Meanwhile the future of on-loan defender Mamadou Sakho still remains unclear.
Liverpool are ready to join the race to sign Virgil Van Dijk as they look to make a statement of intent in this summer’s transfer window.
Manchester City and Chelsea have long been established as the clubs leading the way to sign Van Dijk; City specifically sent scouts to watch Van Dijk on November 19 at St Mary’s when he was Man-of-the-Match in a 0-0 draw with Liverpool.
Ronald Koeman, Everton’s manager, is also keen to be reunited with Van Dijk when he begins what is expected to be an ambitious overhaul of his squad, having worked with him at Southampton, but Liverpool are not going to be passive.
Jurgen Klopp is determined to bolster his defence and recently explained the injuries Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip have suffered this season have meant he cannot regard them as being automatic first choices selections.
Though Claude Puel does not want Van Dijk to leave, there is no question they will be put under serious pressure as soon as the window opens; Van Dijk has been a big miss for Puel in recent months, as he recovers from ankle ligament damage.
Klopp wants to bring in quality additions to ensure Liverpool’s progress over the last 12 months does not go to waste and Van Dijk fits the profile of player they are targeting.
Liverpool are prepared to spend heavier than they have ever done before to get their manager the additions he wants.
Some Liverpool fans want to see Mamadou Sakho return, given he has been doing so well on loan at Crystal Palace; there is no clause in the contract they agreed in January that gives them first option on signing the France international and Klopp says no decisions have been made on his future.
‘You can imagine like all the plans we have for next season, we speak about behind closed doors,’ said Klopp.
‘In the moment when we have to say something we will say something. I see a lot of Premier League games so I see Crystal Palace too and I see how he is playing there and all this stuff.’
His tone was similar on Daniel Sturridge, too, and Klopp said: ‘We are in the season and around this we plan different things like transfers, as you can imagine, but who will leave we have never thought about it.’