Liverpool may have missed out on their primary summer target in Virgil van Dijk, but talk has already begun about a possible January move for the Southampton man.
Writing in his column for the Mirror, former Reds forward Stan Collymore has backed the Dutch defender to have talks with Saints bosses within the month to discuss an exit in the mid-season transfer window.
Wrapping up a summer transfer window in which a number of Premier League players tried without success to leave their respective clubs, he said: “Of the three [Van Dijk, Sanchez, Coutinho], I’d expect Van Dijk to have the toughest reception.
“He looked as if he’d gone a bit ‘Big Time Charlie’ when he started posting moody pictures on private jets and I wouldn’t expect old-school pros like Steven Davis to accept that. The poison has perhaps been injected so deep into Van Dijk’s relationship with the Saints that, unlike Coutinho, I can’t see a way back in the long term.
Somewhere, Dejan Lovren is having one hell of a party to celebrate the fact Van Dijk is not coming to Liverpool.— Leanne Prescott (@_lfcleanne) August 31, 2017
“So don’t be surprised to hear of a meeting in the next few weeks designed to get him out of St Mary’s in January. Sometimes in football, that’s the only way to sort it once and for all.”
Liverpool were forced to release an official apology for their overzealous pursuit of Van Dijk relatively early in the transfer window, and ended the summer without bringing in a single new face at centre-back - an area widely identified as their weakest going into the new season.
Any move for Van Dijk would be a costly one, with around five years remaining on his contract and January moves typically more expensive, but a relatively frugal summer could leave the Reds with the cash to burn.