Journalist with hotline to Melwood delivers Liverpool transfer news fans will love
By Harry Sykes
Liverpool still have an excellent chance of signing Virgil van Dijk from January onwards, according to a reliable journalist.
Liverpool Echo football editor Andy Kelly claimed on the The Redmen TV that the Merseyside giants are “hopeful going forward” that they can still prised £60million-valued Van Dijk from Southampton.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were hot favourites to sign the Holland centre-back during the summer and it was widely expected that he would move to Anfield early on in the window.
Liverpool privately made it clear that the player had his heart set on the move but they were forced to publicly end their interest after Southampton accused them of illegally tapping him up.
Van Dijk handed in a transfer request and pushed hard to get a move to Anfield but the south coast club held firm after deciding at the end of last season that no key players would be permitted to leave.
Kelly, who supports Liverpool as well as managing the Echo’s coverage of the club, has now been quizzed about the Van Dijk transfer saga a week after the window shut.
Intriguingly, he not only feels Liverpool fans were right to be optimistic of an agreement for Van Dijk happening this summer, but that they can maintain that stance going into the winter window.
“I think we were right to be hopeful,” Kelly told Redmen TV. “And I think we’re probably still right to be hopeful going forward, as we move towards January, [and the] end of the season.”
Kelly then discussed Liverpool’s determination and ultimately their failure to secure Van Dijk’s services in further detail.
He added: “I went up to Melwood, just as the window was starting and the vibe from the club was always, and this was the message really that they wanted to seen to be coming from Michael Edwards as well, was that they weren’t going to accept second best, that Michael Edwards wanted to deliver Jurgen Klopp’s No.1 choices.
“That’s not giving away any secrets to anyone because everyone will have seen by the way Liverpool acted all window that they wanted No.1 choices.
The defender, 26, returned to first team training on Tuesday after being sidelined throughout August but the hangover of the transfer window remains.
He is set to be integrated back into the Southampton playing squad for their Premier League clash against Watford at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday.
In other Liverpool transfer news, Arsene Wenger exploded in fury during a face-to-face showdown with a Liverpool player days ago.