The two plot lines that caused Liverpool supporters the most anxiety by some margin this past summer were arguably the failed pursuit of defender Virgil van Dijk and the almost risible dealings with FC Barcelona as the Catalonian club tried to lure Philippe Coutinho away from Anfield.
Are you ready to witness the (in retrospect, inevitable) convergence of those two story lines?
The Mirror have suggested that Barcelona are on the verge of ruffling the Reds’ feathers yet again, this time by moving for the Dutch international and rumored January target of Jürgen Klopp. As evidence of that desire, the Mirror cited the presence of Barcelona’s scouts at the match between Holland and Sweden during the recent round of internationals.
Ernesto Valverde’s squad isn’t exactly blessed with an abundance of youthful vigor when it comes to the rearguard, so one could hardly fault them for taking a flyer on one of the best at his age and position. Premier League heavy hitters Manchester City and Chelsea were also lurking in the wings when Van Dijk jeopardized his relationship with Southampton by publicly expressing a desire to move, but it was thought that Liverpool remained the defender’s first choice.
That preference could be tested if the Spanish giants are indeed interested enough to make a bona fide offer (and therein probably lies the rub), but it’s also true that Barcelona are perhaps no longer quite as alluring to the top players in the game as they were one or two years ago. From Liverpool’s perspective, losing out to Barcelona would likely not be as big a concern as losing out on their prime defensive target, especially given recent issues in that department.