Danny Mills insisted it is “absolutely vital” that Liverpool secure Virgil van Dijk’s long-term future as the club prepare to offer the defender a lucrative new deal.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Leeds United and Manchester City right-back claimed “defenders win championships” and described the 28-year-old as the Reds’ “rock”.

Football Insider revealed that the club are willing to offer the centre-half a new contract worth over £200,000-a-week that would keep him at Anfield for the rest of his career.

Virgil van Dijk still has three years left on his current deal having put pen to paper on a five-and-a-half-year agreement when he signed from Southampton in 2018.

The Netherlands captain currently earns a basic salary of £125,000 which is supplemented by a variation of bonuses.

When asked by Football Insider if tying the defender down to a long-term contract was the top priority on Merseyside, Mills said: “It is absolutely vital.

“To have him there for that length of time means Liverpool do not have to worry about their defence – they would have him there for the next four or five seasons.

“He is their rock and they can build everything around that. They have a great keeper, a great centre-half and two good young full-backs.

“Strikers win games but defenders win championships and Liverpool are going down the right route in securing his long-term future.”

Van Dijk has been a virtual ever-present for Jurgen Klopp’s side this season and has made 41 appearances in all competitions.

The centre-half has won the Champions League and UEFA Best Player in Europe award since arriving at Anfield, while he also came runner-up to Lionel Messi in the Ballon d’Or.

In other Liverpool news, it can be REVEALED that the Reds have already tabled a bid for attacker Klopp rates higher than Timo Werner.