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Van Dijk still has his heart set on a move to Anfield


By Miguel Delaney

Virgil van Dijk is still hopeful of a move to Liverpool, although his future could yet be complicated by late bids from Chelsea and Arsenal. The 26-year-old centre-half has effectively been exiled from the Southampton squad since telling manager Mauricio Pellegrino that he wanted to leave in July, and Anfield is his first choice for a move.

Liverpool have had to cool their interest after being forced into an apology to Southampton following a complaint about an illegal approach, and that has led to an impasse in the situation.

While it would take a huge amount of money - likely over £70m - to even persuade the club to sell in the first place, the St Mary's hierarchy remain adamant they will not sell to Anfield.

Chelsea have maintained their long-standing interest in Van Dijk, while Arsenal have also entered the fray.

The problem for the London clubs would be that Southampton accepting any offer would allow Liverpool to come back in to match it.

Sources close to the player have said he is still optimistic he will be an Anfield player by the end of the window.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have agreed a deal for RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita to join the Merseyside club from July 1 next year for £48m.

The Reds announced the signing of the 22-year-old on their website yesterday morning, confirming the Guinea international would move to Anfield in time for next season.

Belfast Telegraph

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