Pundit Danny Mills says Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp would be wise to focus on extending Virgil van Dijk’s contract after backing away from Timo Werner, which reports have said could happen.
For many months, Anfield appeared to be the next destination for the rising career of RB Leipzig frontman Werner.
The German made no secret of his admiration for Liverpool and boss Jurgen Klopp, who held talks with the striker.
However, reports said Liverpool were unwilling to pay his £50million release clause and that Chelsea have sneaked in.
Therefore, more recent claims said the Reds would focus on extending the contracts of their first-team stars, with Van Dijk among them.
Indeed, speaking to Football Insider, Mills said it is “absolutely vital” that the Dutchman stays at Anfield.
“It is absolutely vital [to get Van Dijk to extend his contract],” the pundit said.
“To have him there for that length of time means Liverpool do not have to worry about their defence – they would have him there for the next four or five seasons.
“He is their rock and they can build everything around that. They have a great keeper, a great centre-half and two good young full-backs.
“Strikers win games but defenders win championships and Liverpool are going down the right route in securing his long-term future.”
KLOPP TO TIE KEY STARS DOWN?
Van Dijk, who has not missed a single Premier League game since the start of last season, has been hugely influential.
The Reds are 25 points clear of Manchester City this season, having boasted the best defensive record last term.
However, he is not the only key star; goalkeeper Alisson Becker has also restored confidence to Liverpool’s backline.
Alongside the defensive pair, a report has claimed Liverpool will also look to tie Georginio Wijnaldum down.
The Netherlands midfielder has a year left on his contract and would likely be an eye-catching free transfer next summer.