Stuart Pearce has expressed his belief that Virgil van Dijk will eventually complete a move from Southampton to Liverpool.
The Dutch defender was denied the opportunity to join the Merseyside club after Southampton complained of an illegal approach, and then refused to negotiate.
But he has continued to be linked with Liverpool, and Pearce has made clear his belief that the transfer will eventually happen.
Van Dijk on a January move: "I’ll give everything to the club. Halfway through the season, maybe we can see what’s possible."— Anfield HQ (@AnfieldHQ) October 3, 2017
"I think Klopp has tried to bring Van Dijk in and I think that will happen – if not in January, maybe next summer," Pearce told Yahoo Sport. "That is someone they have earmarked, but for whatever reason, that hasn't happened this summer.
"Sometimes you go into the transfer market and, for whatever reason, you can't get what you want. Everyone is vying for the best players and if you can get them, all well and good. But there is always someone who has more financial clout than you have."
Liverpool did not bring in an alternative to Van Dijk during the summer, and also saw centre-back Mamadou Sakho move to Crystal Palace on a permanent deal.
Manager Jurgen Klopp has been left with just Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan as his defensive options, a trio that have not always inspired the most confidence.
Liverpool have conceded 12 goals in seven Premier League games so far this season, and Pearce has admitted that the area of weakness is clear.
"There have been question marks over the goalkeeper and question marks about the central defence partnership," the former England captain said. "When you look through their team, they have such talent going forward and in the forward areas, that it is probably the defensive unit you worry about."