Liverpool may still be able to complete a £60 million move for Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk, according to The Sun. The Dutch international has told his club that he only wants a move to Anfield and manager Mauricio Pellegrino does not wish to stand in his way, with a transfer request from the defender a possibility.
Van Dijk has been identified by Jurgen Klopp as his top target in defence this summer and the German will continue to press to sign the centre-back after a move earlier this summer collapsed. It now seems like it may be a matter of when, rather than if, Van Dijk follows the example of Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane, Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne in making the move to Anfield from St. Mary’s.
That move could, in part, be funded by the sale of Lucas Leiva. The Brazilian often provided cover at the heart of defence, as well as in a holding midfield role, last season at Anfield. The Mirror now say that he is on the verge of completing a move to Lazio after the Italians published images of him arriving in Rome and undergoing a medical on social media.
The 30-year-old spent a decade on Merseyside and has become a cult hero with fans who will be sad to see him go. However, it became clear last season that he was no longer considered first choice under Jurgen Klopp and he could now move on to Italy in search of regular football.
Another source of money to help fund the move for Van Dijk could come from the sale of young winger Sheyi Ojo. The Sun say that former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez could come in with a £10 million bid for the 20-year-old having failed in a move to take him to St. James’ Park on loan.
Ojo was not included in the squad to travel to Hong Kong as part of the club’s pre-season tour and has been left at Melwood with Lazar Markovic as the duo look to clear up their futures ahead of the start of the Premier League season in August.
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