Does he deserve more? – Liverpool offer £200,000-a-week wages to 27-year-old star

Liverpool are reportedly ready to open talks with Virgil van Dijk over a new long-term deal to fend off interest from rival clubs.

The Netherlands international has lived up to his billing as the most expensive defender on the planet since joining from Southampton in a £75m deal in January 2017.

Van Dijk has played a crucial role in Liverpool’s Premier League title challenge, helping to keep 17 clean sheets in 30 matches for a Reds side boasting the division’s best defensive record.

According to The Express, the Merseyside outfit are worried that the 27-year-old’s form over the past 14 months may attract interest from Real Madrid, who are planning a mass overhaul this summer.

In an attempt to put Madrid off making a move, it is claimed that Van Dijk will be offered an improved deal at Anfield worth £200,000 a week, taking him level with current top earner Mohamed Salah.

Van Dijk’s existing deal is worth £125,000 a week and expires in June 2023.