Liverpool briefly believed they had scored a major coup this summer in convincing Southampton stand-out centerback Virgil van Dijk to join their ranks on Merseyside. The defender was highly sought by not just Liverpool, but also Manchester City and Chelsea.
Of course, the defender did not end up leaning awkwardly at Melwood, and Liverpool had to publicly apologize and retract their interest after tapping-up allegations surfaced. It has long been assumed that the Reds would be back for Van Dijk in the January transfer window, but they may have run into a Man City-sized snag.
According to Goal.com, City are currently weighing Van Dijk as a possible January transfer. This rumor is spurred on by Pep Guardiola’s recent comments about the need to strengthen the defense in January (because a team that is running away with the league, and with the best defense to boot, really needs help).
“In that department we have too few players and to handle all competitions we are in trouble, real trouble if this is the case. But I can’t assure anything. We’re going to see what will happen in January,” Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference this week.
“Maybe we are thinking of looking at another central defender because of Vincent’s problems, John Stones is four or five weeks out. And we miss an important player like (Benjamin) Mendy.”
Yes, life is hard for poor Pep. At this rate they might even drop two or three more points the rest of the season.
For his part, Jurgen Klopp has remained characteristically tight-lipped about any possible January moves (either coming or going). Although Liverpool have been linked with numerous defenders over the past several months, there have been few credible reports about specific players, be they Van Dijk or anyone else.