Premier League • England

Liverpool superstar an ‘absolute banker’ to stay, but two sources imply Van Dijk will follow Klopp out

Liverpool stars Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah

A senior Sky Sports reporter claims it’s an “absolute banker” a Liverpool superstar will stay with the club beyond Jurgen Klopp, though fears are growing regarding the long-term future of Virgil van Dijk.

A new era will dawn at Anfield in the summer, with Jurgen Klopp due to walk away from Anfield at season’s end. A key figure – sporting director Jorg Schmadtke – will also depart and his exit will actually come at the conclusion of the January transfer window.

Liverpool’s first attempt at replacing Schmadtke has ended in defeat, with Fabrizio Romano detailing the club’s failed attempt to re-hire Michael Edwards.

But of arguably greater concern to Reds fans is growing speculation some of the club’s finest stars could depart on the back of Klopp’s bombshell announcement.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah all have less than 18 months remaining on their current contracts.

Liverpool rejected a verbal offer worth £150m from Al-Ittihad last summer. Further Saudi Arabian bids are expected in the off-season.

Regarding the defenders, Van Dijk recently rung alarm bells when refusing to commit his long-term future to Liverpool.

Asked whether he sees himself being a part of the new era, Van Dijk replied: “That’s a big question. Well, I don’t know.” Van Dijk’s troubling full quotes on his Reds future can be found here.

In response to his captain’s comments, Klopp moved to allay fears the great Dutchman will follow him out of Anfield when speaking in a press conference on Tuesday.

Klopp points finger at reporters

“When I said what I had to say, it was clear the outside world wouldn’t give you a second to process it and think about it,” said Klopp.

“Give the boys a break. Nobody has to worry. You can’t wait with these type of questions. Virg didn’t go out and say ‘by the way I want to say’.  It’s always about the questions.

“This club is stable, 100 per cent. Everything will be fine. I recommend that people stay calm.

“Very often the fans’ concerns aren’t as big as the media might think. You underestimate the IQ of our supporters. We’re in this season and these talks could be part of a possible distraction. That’s the same whether you know the manager for next season or not.

“The club have known about my departure for a while. Tying the players down and then me saying ‘I won’t be here anymore’, they’d be like ‘no-one told us that’, you can’t work like this, especially with the relationship we have.

“There’s enough time to do everything. These players love to be here. I know that for a fact. It’s not that they have one foot out.”

Alexander-Arnold to stay, but what about Van Dijk?

Now, Sky Sports pair Melissa Reddy and Michael Bridge have weighed in on what’s in store for Alexander-Arnold and Van Dijk.

Firstly, Reddy – who is Sky’s senior football reporter – claimed Alexander-Arnold staying is guaranteed.

“Trent Alexander-Arnold is an absolute banker to stay at Liverpool,” declared Reddy.

“I think he is going to be symbolic of Liverpool moving forward.”

HITC recently claimed talks between Liverpool and Alexander-Arnold’s camp over a brand new contract are underway. If signed, the right-back would be placed among the club’s top earners.

However, the assessment of Van Dijk’s future was not as positive.

Bridge stated: “On  Virgil van Dijk, it could be last big move or one last big contract. When it comes to Liverpool, everything is up in the air at the moment.”

Reddy added: “[Klopp] says Virgil van Dijk wasn’t really given any time to process the news before he was asked about his future [which is absolutely correct].

“Where there is a departure from Klopp’s position to reality is when he says “nothing has changed” – a lot is different the club is going to look totally new.

“It’s not just about replacing a manager, it’s a new sporting director, new coaching staff and a new backroom team.

“It is about what direction will Liverpool be taking going forward. Players have to be conscious about that.”

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