Fresh off winning the 2019 Champions League, being named UEFA’s player of the season and one of the top ten players in FIFA 20, but not signing a new Liverpool deal (yet), Virgil van Dijk is being targeted by Real Madrid according to Italy’s Calcio Mercato.
In a twist that Liverpool fans will enjoy, though, Madrid and manager Zinedine Zidane have been told by Van Dijk’s camp not to waste their time because the player isn’t interested in a move to the Spanish capital. Which is good for a bit of entertainment at least.
Now, that it’s an Italian journalist and outlet here reporting on the interest of a Spanish club concerning a Dutch player plying his trade in England—not to mention the summer transfer window closed just about a week ago now—we’re taking it all with a grain of salt.
Still, Madrid are arguably the biggest destination in club football and Van Dijk is the game’s top centre half and Ballon d’Or favourite. The idea they might have at least asked whether he would be interested in a move isn’t the unlikeliest thing in the world.
Neither is the idea that, at 28 and coming off a season where he won the Champions League—and now kicking off a season where Liverpool are Premier League title hopefuls and the player could win the game’s top individual prize—he’s happy where he is.
In the end, though, given the timing of the story and the outlet reporting it, we’re mostly taking this one as a chance for a chuckle—and to reflect on where Liverpool are now under Jürgen Klopp compared to where they were five years ago.