The Virgil van Dijk saga shows no signs of letting up and looks set to dominate Liverpool’s summer, with claims on Wednesday morning that Southampton want between £65 million and £75 million for the Dutch defender.
The claims are made by the Liverpool Echo‘s Ian Doyle, who claims that “Southampton would rather there was a bidding war between van Dijk’s potential suitors, and are looking for a price of between £65m and £75m.”
It’s claimed that Southampton “believe the onus is on the player to push the deal through, with the suggestion being van Dijk may even have to force the hand of the St Mary’s club.”
However, having signed a new six-year contract last summer, Van Dijk isn’t in a great position of power in that respect.
But the 25-year-old clearly wants a move and much of these claims are likely to be nothing more than Southampton posturing to look like they are attempting to keep their captain and star player, just as they have done previously when other key players were on the verge of leaving St. Mary’s.
It remains a deal that more than likely will still get done this summer, but looks set to be played out in the media and dragged out.
Jurgen Klopp, though, will be keen to get his primary target signed and sealed early on, with the boss hoping to get most of his business completed in time for pre-season, as was the case last summer.
“I wish the signings happened tomorrow but the best scenario is that they are done for the start of pre-season,” Klopp said last month.
Liverpool are likely to offer Southampton an initial fee and then add-ons, and you can expect that Southampton will push to local media the potential fee, whereas Liverpool-based media will be briefed on the original fee.
Liverpool may also look to sell Mamadou Sakho, a player Southampton were said to be interested in in January, to the south coast club to ease relations and finalise the deal.