Liverpool have been warned to expect serious approaches from both Barcelona and Real Madrid for their star defender Virgil van Dijk.
The £75million that Jurgen Klopp paid Southampton a little over two years ago now looks a bargain with Van Dijk already helping the Reds to glory in the Champions League and with the Premier League all but wrapped up.
Van Dijk is now seen as the world’s best centre-back, highlighted by his second-place finish in the 2019 Ballon d’Or just behind Lionel Messi and leading to claims that Liverpool will look to reward him with a new deal and raising his salary to around £200,000 a week.
However, until the ink is dry on that new deal, former midfielder Paul Ince reckons Liverpool will be wary of losing Van Dijk to either Barca or Real Madrid and that keeping their squad together from this summer remains Klopp’s biggest challenge.
“I think what they’re doing is great – the players and Klopp – but great teams win trophies year in year out,” he told the Liverpool Echo.
“They’ve got a big chance to do that but we’ll need to look back in a few years to see what they’ve done to say that was a great Liverpool team.
“Obviously it’s now a question of how they get better in the future, it’s tough because they’ve got some young exciting players who are only going to improve but football things change – we saw that with Philippe Coutinho, suddenly someone like Barcelona come in and they’re off off.
“It’s a case of keeping the best players at Liverpool.
“Will someone come in for Van Dijk? When Barcelona or Real Madrid come knocking it’s hard to say no.
“That’s the thing about being a victim of your own success, when you’re doing so many great things like Liverpool are doing it alerts other big club like Barcelona or Madrid.
“And it’s hard to say no as a player when they come in. You look at someone like Cristiano Ronaldo, you get to the stage where you’ve won league and Champions League – are you prepared to do it year in year out or do you want another challenge elsewhere?
“That’s what Klopp is going to have to deal with and he’ll have to look at that in the future and build his team around that.”
Meanwhile, RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner has for the second time this week made it plain and obvious he wants to sign for Liverpool this summer after making more telling references about a move to Anfield.