Reports: Liverpool to sign £70million rated defender
What's the story?
This summer, people around the world were treated to a beautiful story about unrequited love that captivated the hearts of everyone that tuned in, and no, I'm not talking about a movie. The love story in question is the summer fling between Liverpool and Virgil Van Dijk, which sadly ended in tragedy a few months ago.
Every good story needs a villain, and in this case, it was Southampton who came in between the star-crossed lovers and prematurely cut short the romance. However, it appears that there is yet another twist in the story, with the Mirror reporting that Liverpool will revive their interest in the Southampton centre-back in January.
In case you didn't know...
Van Dijk began his career at Groningen in the Netherlands, making 66 appearances for the club before he moved to Celtic. Van Dijk truly came into his own during his time at Celtic, winning the Scottish Premiership in consecutive seasons, and the Scottish League Cup in 2014-15.
The centre-back moved to Southampton in 2015, and quickly established himself as first-team regular, pairing up with Jose Fonte in defence. Injuries hampered his progress in his second season at the club, but he still played well enough to be named captain after Fonte's departure.
The heart of the matter
Virgil Van Dijk was publicly courted by Liverpool in the summer transfer window, and they even had to issue a public apology to Southampton for illegally approaching the player. Virgil Van Dijk also expressed his interest in moving to Merseyside, handing in a transfer request to Southampton.
Liverpool have struggled defensively in recent games, and the Reds have conceded 17 goals in 11 Premier League matches this season. Jurgen Klopp seems to believe that Van Dijk is the solution to his current conundrum, and he appears set to battle it out for the defender.
The Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino released a statement saying that he could not promise that Van Dijk will stay at Southampton, which will give Liverpool hope. Van Dijk will probably command a fee in the region of £70million, which Liverpool could be desperate enough to pay.
Liverpool's dogged pursuit of Van Dijk will continue in the winter transfer window, and the club will be willing to pay a hefty sum to bring the Dutchman to Anfield. The player also seems willing to leave, and Southampton will need to assess whether holding on to Van Dijk will be worth it. Instead of taking the risk of this creating discord in the dressing room, the Saints will probably choose to sell the defender and make a tidy profit.