By Matt Farr

Liverpool could be set to win the race for Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk due to Jurgen Klopp’s “personal involvement” in the transfer, according to a reliable journalist.

Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol revealed on his personal Twitter account on Monday evening that the 25-year-old had chosen to join Liverpool because he was “impressed” with the involvement of the Reds chief.

It had earlier been reported by leading bookmaker Ladbrokes on their official website that Liverpool were set to offer the defender a contract worth a staggering £200,000-per-week, but that a fee had yet to be confirmed.

They understand that Southampton are looking to recoup as much as £60million for his signature this summer, while they had suspended betting on the Holland international moving to Anfield.

The Telegraph, meanwhile, claim that Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester City are still interested in a deal for van Dijk this summer.

However, it has become clear that van Dijk has his heart set on a move to Liverpool, after Sky journalist Solhekol revealed he was impressed by Klopp’s personal attempts to push through a deal.

Klopp had made the Southampton star one of his priority signings after their continued struggles in the defensive third last season, and had refused to back down in the race against their Premier League rivals.

But his hard-work looks to have paid off, so long as the two clubs can strike an agreement as to a suitable fee.

Van Dijk will become the latest in a long line of Southampton players to have made the move to Liverpool in recent years, following in the footsteps of Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Sadio Mane.

Football Insider verdict

Aside from all the other incentives on offer to van Dijk, Klopp’s influence in Liverpool’s bid to sign the defender highlights the importance the manager can have in transfers. In today’s market, a large number of deals are handled by representatives and other senior figures at the club, with the managerial influence restricted to giving the green light to pursue a target. However, here Klopp has put in considerable time and effort to sell a move to Anfield to the Dutchman, and he looks to have beaten the likes of Chelsea and Man City to his signature as a result. He will be a fantastic addition, and a superb coup for the club, if the deal goes ahead.

In other Liverpool transfer news, the Reds are reportedly keen on signing this available goalkeeper from the German Bundesliga.

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