After having their wrists slapped by the Premier League after supposedly tapping up Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool are now prepared to test the waters once again but this time with something resembling a concrete offer for the Dutch international.
Southampton’s frustration at losing the majority of their star players to Merseyside had reached boiling point earlier this summer when they made a complaint about how Liverpool were going about their business and in their eyes trying to unsettle the former Celtic defender.
And after Liverpool had to climb down after offering a slightly embarrassing apology for their actions it was felt that any potential deal was very much a non starter. But Liverpool are refusing to look elsewhere in regards to centre back targets and are very much putting their eggs in one basket.
Whether that can be considered a risky strategy on Liverpool’s part remains to be seen but they are still quietly confident that they can eventually land Van Dijk they just need to be a bit more clever about how they do their business this time around.
This Van Dijk or bust strategy is an interesting one for Liverpool, the longer they leave it then it gives them little time to source another avenues which could in turn lead to a panic buy as they would have left any potential business for too late in the window. I guess it is going to be a case of who blinks first.
Arguably any potential deal to Anfield hinges on the player himself putting in a transfer request, that is something that has not been forthcoming as yet and only then will Liverpool have the green light to go back in with an offer for the 26 year old.
At present this puts Southampton in a position of strength as they are in absolutely no rush to sell the player as quite obviously they will want to make sure that Van Dijk is a part of their squad for the start of the season especially as the player has been out since the start of the season through injury.
Many felt at the time that Van Dijk had played his last football for the Saints but there is a growing confidence that he could still be wearing Southampton colours at the start of next season. That however is not to say that there wouldn’t be interest from elsewhere.
Arsenal were reportedly eyeing up a £45m bid but with quoted of values of no lower than £60m it is hard to see ho the Southampton hierarchy will entertain an offer that low especially when the defender himself has not officially requested a move.
In a similar scenario to that of Swansea and Gylfi Sigurdsson it is fair to say that Southampton have highly inflated their assets’ worth, that is for the simple reason that although it does not present market value it displays the worth of the player to the club.
Yes Southampton could be in for a hefty windfall should they move this much coveted player on but then how do you go about replacing someone so talented. You could argue that they coped without him in the second half of last season but then you could also argue that they would have been much better had he been fit.
As to where they would have finished last season had Van Dijk and whether or not Claude Puel would still be in a job is obviously conjecture but there is certainly life in a potential deal between Liverpool and Southampton, it’s now a case of how much breathing space Jurgen Klopp gives himself before going in with another bid.