By Dominic Toner
Liverpool will not attempt to sign Virgil van Dijk in the January transfer window, according to a report.
The Mail claim that the Reds have ended their interest in the Southampton defender, who is understood to have a £25million realise clause.
Van Dijk has also caught the attention of Manchester City, Everton and Manchester United after some impressive performances for the Saints.
The report details that Liverpool will now prioritise other areas in January and are content with their current options at centre-back.
This will be a surprise to supporters given how strongly Van Dijk has been linked with the Merseysiders in recent weeks.
Van Dijk has emerged as one of the best defenders in the Premier League and the top clubs are aware of his quality.
The 25-year-old has played every minute of Southampton’s Premier League campaign this season and has continued to improve since his £13million arrival from Celtic in 2015.
Liverpool have a recent history of signing Southampton players, with Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne, Sadio Mane, Dejan Lovren and Rickie Lambert all moving to Anfield from the South Coast.
They will not be repeating that with Van Dijk and are confident in their current crop of defenders.
Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren have formed a solid partnership at centre-back, while they also have Ragnar Klavan, Joe Gomez and Lucas as cover.
Football Insider verdict:
Liverpool are missing a big trick by ending their interest in Van Dijk, who is arguably one of the best centre-backs in the league. The Merseyside club are trying to compete for the Premier League title this season and signing the defender would have sent out a huge message to their rivals. Van Dijk has developed into an all-round fantastic player and is physically imposing, as well as being composed in possession. Liverpool are a fantastic attacking side this season, but their are question marks over them defensively. Jurgen Klopp’s side need to tighten up their defence if they want to be champions and Van Dijk would be the perfect leader to do that.
In other Liverpool transfer news, they are desperate to win the race for a young English sensation.