By Alex Stevens
Liverpool scouts have watched Virgil van Dijk play in every match for the last two months, according to a report from his native Holland.
Dutch publication De Telegraaf claim that the Merseyside giants are gearing up to make a mammoth January bid for the Southampton centre-back and they regard him as a priority signing.
But manager Jurgen Klopp faces increasing competition to land the Holland international, as it is said that Manchester United, Manchester City and Everton are also ready to move for the player next month.
The reliable De Telegraaf substantiate reports in England that Van Dijk has a £25.4million release clause in his Saints contract, which makes the Premier League club vulnerable to a January swoop from one of the better resourced clubs in the division.
Everton are managed by Ronald Koeman, who brought Van Dijk to England from Celtic in the summer of 2015 when he was at Southampton and helped nurture him int one of the best centre-backs in the league.
But the Champions League calibre clubs are keeping close tracks on the 25-year-old, and it is reported that both Liverpool and City have watched all of his matches over the last two months.
Van Dijk has been a mainstay of the Southampton side over the last 18 months and has formed an impressive partnership with Rui Fonte.
Football Insider verdict:
With so many elite clubs hovering around him, Van Dijk is soon going to have a major decision to make. It appears inevitable that he will leave Liverpool feeder club Southampton either in January or next summer. The question is, where will he end up? United and City can offer the biggest wages, Everton have the Koeman factor and Liverpool are a team on the march. Van Dijk is good enough to walk into the starting line-ups of all four teams, so it will come down to which club can match his ambition and meet his salary demands.
In other Liverpool transfer news, the club are poised to trigger a £20million-plus release clause to seal a stunning January deal.