Virgil van Dijk reportedly favours a move to Liverpool above Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal this summer, according to a report on Wednesday.
The Southampton defender has become one of the Premier League’s most in-demand players and a fee of around £50million is being bandied about for the commanding Dutchman.
But despite Southampton’s insistence they don’t want to sell, there is a growing belief that Saints will struggle to retain the player they signed in a bargain £13million deal from Celtic two summers ago.
It was believed that Antonio Conte’s Chelsea were favourites for Van Dijk. But the Daily Mirror claims that Liverpool are ‘growing in confidence’ over a deal and that ‘Jurgen Klopp is hoping his magic touch’ can see them win the race for his signature.
The paper adds that Liverpool have a genuine chance of doing a deal because van Dijk is attracted by the proposition of playing for Klopp.
Klopp is ready to make it clear that he will make van Dijk his defensive kingpin, that he can become a Kop legend and that he is the only centre-half he is interested in this summer.
However, with the added bonus of Champions League football, there is a growing belief that they can lure him to Merseyside.
It’s reported that all four clubs have sounded out van Dijk’s advisers and made strong enquiries, and Liverpool and Arsenal are ready to pay the best financial package of around £200,000-a-week.
However, before any deal is agreed with the player, Liverpool and their fellow suitors must first convince Southampton to sell.
Asked if Saints could realistically turned down a £60million bid for him this summer, Ralph Krueger said recently: “Can we? Yes.
“The big thing is here again I want to underline the strategy, less the detail.
“You know I really respect our lead in football, Les Reed is doing an excellent job, and Ross Wilson has taken on a big role assisting Les and leading our football-specific decisions.
“They will continue next week once they’ve analysed the season and really de-brief completely, they will make then the football decision we need to make.
“I’ll tell you again, we do not need to sell anybody.”