Liverpool nearing perfect Van Dijk partner after tabling first bid

Date published: Sunday 28th March 2021 3:52 - Steve Pearson

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool celebrate

Liverpool are said to have launched an ‘informal offer’ for an elite defender Jurgen Klopp sees as a ‘very, very suitable partner for Virgil van Dijk.’

Liverpool have endured a tumultuous defence of their Premier League crown. The Reds topped the table in December despite injury ravaging their squad. Since then, however, an extended run of poor form has seen their title tilt collapse.

The biggest factor behind their slump has been injuries, particularly at centre-back.

Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are all in he midst of long-term absences. Even makeshift centre-halves Fabinho and Jordan Henderson have spent time on the treatment table.

Attentions have begun to turn to next season on the domestic front, with the biggest question regarding who will arrive.

Ozan Kabak could see his loan move made permanent, but patchy form thus far would seem to indicate that won’t be the case.

A blockbuster signing would allay Liverpool fans’ nerves, and they may soon get their wish.

Ian McGarry of the Transfer Window podcast (via the Express) has revealed that an initial bid of £34.2m plus add-ons has been tabled for Napoli ace Kalidou Koulibaly.

The Senegalese, 29, has been one of European football’s premier centre-halves over the last five years.

Kalidou Koulibaly TEAMtalk

 

He has long been linked with a headline-grabbing switch to the Premier League, and it appears Liverpool are determined to make Anfield his new home.

“They have had a long-standing interest in the Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, which we have reported in detail over the last year,” McGarry said.

“It is our understanding that an informal offer to begin with of €40m (£34.2m) plus add-ons has been made for the player, who’s certainly available.

“Certainly Jurgen Klopp looks at him as being a very, very suitable partner for Virgil van Dijk. He’s expected to return before the start of next season and do pre-season with Liverpool as well.

“Koulibaly has had interest from Manchester City and Manchester United but Liverpool look to be leading the race now in a reduced-price market for a player. Okay he’s 29, but that does also give him the advantage of the experience.

“He will be able to hit the ground running with regards to coming into a new club.”

 

Liverpool allay concerns over duo’s future

Meanwhile, Liverpool are not concerned about the futures of either Mohamed Salah or Jurgen Klopp, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has confirmed.

Doubts have arisen this season about Klopp’s future as manager amid Liverpool’s struggles to defend their title. It is unlikely they would sack him, but the availability of the Germany job has prompted fresh rumours. As for Salah, links with Real Madrid are persistent.

Salah has been one of Liverpool’s best players ever since he joined from Roma in 2017. The Egypt international has scored more than 100 goals for the club.

His form, though, has regularly seen him linked with a departure from Liverpool. He definitely has the ability to play for a European giant like Real Madrid.

However, Romano has now quashed those rumours by revealing that Mbappe could yet extend his deal with PSG. What’s more, the chances of Salah leaving Liverpool are slim.

Romano wrote for Benchwarmers: “Kylian Mbappe has not started any negotiations with Liverpool so far despite the rumours.

 

“To date, the priority is to negotiate with Paris Saint-Germain for the renewal of the contract; only afterwards will his future be decided with PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi who is doing everything to convince Kylian. He wants over 25 million euros per season after taxes.

“Liverpool, on the other hand, are convinced that they can keep Mohamed Salah. Soon they will also have to talk about his contract expiring in June 2023 but there is no problem with the club.”

Regarding Klopp, the transfer guru added: “Speaking of Liverpool, the board is planning the transfer market with Jurgen Klopp and is not afraid of a possibility linked to the German National Team.

“There have been no contacts; the desire to make him Joachim Low’s heir for the moment has not developed.”

READ MORE: Former team-mate convinced Liverpool signing goal machine is ‘no-brainer’

 

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