Liverpool sent Virgil van Dijk to Barcelona transfer warning - 'It's hard to say no'

Liverpool will look to restore their 22-point lead at the top of the Premier League when they take on West Ham on Monday night.


Posted Monday, February 24, 2020 by Express.co.uk

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been warned he must avoid a similar situation to that of Philippe Coutinho when the Brazilian star jumped ship at Anfield to move to Barcelona with Virgil van Dijk mentioned as a possible target. Liverpool are on the verge of creating club history with just 15 points needed to win their maiden Premier League title.

It's been a slow and steady process under Klopp's stewardship, having built a squad over the five years he's been in charge.

Players such as Sadio Mane, Georginio Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson and Alisson to name but a few have been drafted in with Liverpool's recruitment being hailed.

That recruitment also oversaw the club-record signing of Van Dijk, who has established himself as the world's best centre-back in his two years on Merseyside.

The Holland international is a colossal at the back for Liverpool with the club conceding just one goal in their last 11 Premier League games.

Liverpool sent Virgil van Dijk to Barcelona transfer warning - 'It's hard to say no'
Virgil van Dijk has established himself as the best defender in the world

Liverpool have struggled to keep hold of their best players in previous years with the likes of Luis Suarez, Fernando Torres and Coutinho all requesting to move elsewhere in the past.

With Liverpool flying high at the top of the Premier League, Paul Ince believes some of the best teams in the world will once again be circling around their players with Van Dijk a likely target for many.

And the former Liverpool icon believes Klopp's toughest task will be keeping his squad together, as well as adding world class talent.

"Obviously it's now a question of how they get better in the future, it's tough because they've got some young exciting players who are only going to improve but football things change - we saw that with Philippe Coutinho, suddenly someone like Barcelona come in and they're off," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"It's a case of keeping the best players at Liverpool.

"Will someone come in for Van Dijk? When Barcelona or Real Madrid come knocking it's hard to say no.

"That's the thing about being a victim of your own success, when you're doing so many great things like Liverpool are doing it alerts other big club like Barcelona or Madrid.

"And it's hard to say no as a player when they come in. You look at someone like Cristiano Ronaldo, you get to the stage where you've won league and Champions League - are you prepared to do it year in year out or do you want another challenge elsewhere?

"That's what Klopp is going to have to deal with and he'll have to look at that in the future and build his team around that.

"Of course what he's done in four or five years is unbelievable in building a team that can win leagues and finals with the right mentality - there's a great spirit among the players too which will help.

"You might have to think about a world-class replacement for one of the front three if they get injured.

"You always have to keep improving you never know about injuries, suspensions or when someone might come in to take one of your best players."



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