9 May 2017

Anfield MegaDeal? Boss drops massive hint about 'fantastic' £60m Liverpool target; confirms transfer is a no-go

Southampton boss Claude Puel has dismissed suggestions that Liverpool target Virgil Van Dijk will leave the club this summer.

Over the last few months, Liverpool have been constantly linked with Van Dijk, and last week, the Daily Mail claimed that Jurgen Klopp is 'determined' to sign the £60m-rated defender. this summer.

Van Dijk's agent reportedly 'spoke with Arsenal and Liverpool last week', but according to Puel today:

"He [Van Dijk] will come back for us next season. He is our captain. He is fantastic player. We wait until beginning of season to see him again on the pitch. He has a long contract and I think the Directors want to keep him".

Contracts mean nothing in the modern game, and that has been proven countless times in the Premier League era. In any event, this is standard management-speak, and even if Van Dijk is leaving, Puel is hardly going to confirm it in public.

Van Dijk is one of the most coveted defenders in Europe, and if a big teams comes in with a massive offer, the history suggests that Southampton - a selling club - will do business.

Every year, the Saints sell their best players (usually to Liverpool!) for a massive profit, so why change a wildly successful business model?

Plus, if - as speculated - Puel leaves this summer, then Van Dijk will have the perfect excuse to quit the club.

I can't see him ending up at Liverpool, though. £50m-£60m for (essentially) a mid-table defender is prohibitive, though it's arguably better value for money than £25m on Michael Keane.


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