This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
Virgil van Dijk is a target of both Real Madrid and Barcelona according to AS, who also suggest that they may need to appoint Jurgen Klopp if the Dutchman is to be persuaded by a move away.
AS report that neither Zinedine Zidane nor Ernesto Valverde are particularly comfortable in their current roles after slow starts to the season, and have pointed to Klopp as a man who would be well-suited to either role.
Both teams are said to like the centre-back, who is amongst the favourites for the Ballon d’Or and considered one of the best defenders in the world after being named UEFA Men’s Player of the Year.
Klopp, who has built his team into world-beaters and likely views a Premier League title as a crowning glory on his time on Merseyside, is showing no desire to leave Merseyside anytime soon.
With that in mind, it’s unlikely that either of the Spanish giants will be able to lure him away from his current role anytime soon.
Meanwhile, the fact van Dijk joined the Reds in a deal worth £75m in 2018 is telling. Spanish clubs have showcased their prowess and desirability in the transfer market before, securing deals for the likes of Xabi Alonso, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho, but it seems that the landscape is changing.
Those three players were signed by Liverpool for £10.5m, £22.7m and £8.5m respectively, fees that were small enough to lend rival clubs reason to believe that they could be acquired; those suspicions, clearly, were based on solid grounds.
But the gargantuan size of van Dijk’s initial transfer fee combined with the perpetual rise of his standing in the game and Liverpool’s recent Champions League win will collectively serve to push his valuation into astronomical territory.
Barcelona and Real Madrid have showcased a willingness to spend huge figures for the right players in the past but, with the prospect of a first Premier League title a genuine possibility for van Dijk, it’s difficult to envisage a scenario in which he is willing to walk away from Merseyside.
It’s impossible to conclude by stating that two of Liverpool’s most integral – if not the most integral – figures will definitely remain at the club, but the current circumstances hardly lend themselves to a stunning double swoop.