Premier League • England

Elite Liverpool star urged to snub record-breaking offer and avoid team-mate’s damaging move

Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool, April 2023

Liverpool stars Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk has been sent a major warning after he received a proposal to become the best-paid defender in the world.

Van Dijk continued to be a mainstay in the Liverpool starting eleven during the 2023-24 season, making 48 appearances across all competitions and 36 in the Premier League. The centre-back chipped in with four goals and two assists as Liverpool won the League Cup during what proved to be Jurgen Klopp’s final campaign at Anfield.

At one stage, Liverpool had been on course to win an unprecedented quadruple, but they eventually fell behind in the Premier League title race to Arsenal and usual champions Manchester City.

Liverpool’s hopes of winning another trophy after the League Cup were dashed as they were knocked out of the FA Cup in the quarter-finals by Manchester United and stunned in the Europa League last eight by Atalanta.

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Van Dijk’s Liverpool future has become uncertain as a result of Klopp’s departure and the fact that the Dutchman’s contract expires in June 2025, just like fellow influential stars Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mo Salah.

Liverpool would normally have tied their best players down to new deals long beforehand, but the lengthy pursuits of a new head coach and sporting director postponed such contract offers from being made.

As such, Alexander-Arnold has been linked with Real Madrid, while Saudi Pro League chiefs are weighing up another audacious bid for Salah.

But earlier on Friday it emerged that Van Dijk has also been given the opportunity to swap Merseyside for the Middle East. It has sensationally been claimed that Al-Nassr are ready to hand the 32-year-old a world-record contract for a defender.

Liverpool latest: Virgil van Dijk told to reject offers

But Dutch pundits Valentijn Driessen and Jeroen Kapteijns have urged Van Dijk to reject the eye-watering riches on offer.

When asked if Van Dijk should consider joining Al-Nassr, Kapteijns responded: “If he wants to have a few more zeros in the bank account, yes, but if he wants to continue playing football seriously, no.”

Driessen, meanwhile, went on to discuss Jordan Henderson’s terrible transfer to Al-Ettifaq. “The worst example in many ways is of course Jordan Henderson,” he added.

“That is of course the man who always made an effort for LGBTQ people, but once he saw those dollar signs appear in his eyes, he did not know how quickly he should go to Saudi Arabia.”

Henderson linked up with Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq last summer. But six months later, after not settling into the culture and being disappointed with the lack of fans, he joined Ajax on a free transfer.

Not only did Henderson lose a lot of supporters by moving to Saudi Arabia, but he also ended any hopes he had of playing for England at Euro 2024.

With Van Dijk aiming to continue playing at the highest level with Liverpool, it is likely he will snub the opportunity to make the same mistake as Henderson and move to the Saudi Pro League.

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