Liverpool ‘remain confident’ of signing Virgil van Dijk in a deal that could reach £50million this summer, despite Southampton’s insistence that the player will not be sold.
Reds manager Jurgen Klopp has made the Southampton star his top target this summer and reports last week suggested Liverpool had already agreed terms with the Dutchman over a summer move to Anfield.
That in turn prompted Southampton boss Claude Puel to insist the club had no desire to cash in on the man they signed from Celtic for a bargain £13million in the summer of 2015.
Puel said: “Virgil had a bad injury, but now it’s okay, his surgery is finished and he can work normally and go into the gym for rehabilitation and come back next season with us … with us!
“He’s our captain and he’s important for us. He has matured and taken leadership on the team. He’s a fantastic player we know well.
“He’s important for us and now, of course, we will wait to the beginning of the season to see him on the pitch with Southampton.”
However, the Daily Star claims Liverpool will nonetheless push through with their plans to sign the player this summer, with the package for the defender reportedly set to top £100million.
Liverpool have raided Southampton for Rickie Lambert, Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana in recent years and appear to be in pole position to land the defender this summer and make him their sixth signing from Saints.
But when questioned again about Liverpool’s interest, Puel said: “He has a long contract and the directors will want to keep him.”