Liverpool will make a fresh approach to sign Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk in January or next summer, according to former Manchester City defender Stuart Pearce.
Liverpool were prepared to pay a world- record fee of around £70 million for the Dutch defender earlier this summer, but Southampton stood firm even after the 26-year-old submitted a transfer request.
The 26-year old will look to leave St Mary’s in January and finally secure his dream move to Liverpool, according to reports.
Paul Joyce of the Times says the Dutch defender has no regrets about trying to force a move to Anfield in the summer, and that while he has vowed to do his best for Mauricio Pellegrino’s side, he still wants to move as soon as possible.
NEW: Virgil van Dijk to tell Southampton he wants to leave in January in bid to move 'as soon as possible.' https://t.co/fvIOJEmjuH
— Anfield HQ (@AnfieldHQ) October 4, 2017
Despite FSG releasing a statement earlier this summer clearly stating all interest had been dropped for Van Dijk, the feeling amongst Reds supporters is Klopp will sanction a big-money move for his top defensive target.
“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.”
Klopp has seen his side already concede 12 goals in seven league matches so far, and only West Ham and Crystal Palace have conceded more in the Premier League this season, and Pearce, who has heaped praise on Liverpool’s attack, has raised question marks over the Reds’ defensive unit.
“Yes. There have been question marks over the goalkeeper and question marks about the central defence partnership.
“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.”