Just a few short days ago, every English tabloid was blaring that Liverpool were likely to move for Virgil van Dijk in January following news of a reported £25M release clause. Also playing a role was Liverpool’s defence letting Bournemouth put four past them while anchor Joël Matip was out injured.
Today, Matip is back in training. Also today, every English tabloid—or at least The Express and The Mail and The Mirror—are blaring that Liverpool aren’t interested in van Dijk after all and will leave plucky upstarts Everton to fight it out with the wealth of Manchester United and City for his services.
The consensus is that with Matip being counted on to start the rest of the way and Joe Gomez looking promising with the U23s as he edges towards a return, Liverpool have other priorities in January. Priorities like bringing in an attacker to cover for star summer signing Sadio Mané while he’s at the AFCON.
Still, with more than £60M in his back pocket following a summer that saw the club turn a net profit in the transfer market, there is money there to spend should Jürgen Klopp wish to strengthen his squad at multiple positions. The manager, though, has in the past said he prefers consistency.
If he’s happy to partner Matip with Dejan Lovren the rest of the way this season, then, and doesn’t want to bring in a player good enough to compete with either for the starting job—potentially upsetting team chemistry—that might not be the most surprising news. Even if some will be disappointed by it.