Liverpool poised to trigger £20m-plus release clause to seal stunning January deal

Liverpool are ready to trigger the £25million release clause in the Southampton contract of Virgil van Dijk, according to a report.

The Daily Mail claim the Merseyside giants are poised to make a formal move for the Holland international in a bid to seal a stunning deal in the January transfer window.

It is said that Van Dijk’s former club Celtic are “almost certain” to rake in a multi-million pound windfall from the sale of the defender next month.

It is reported that the Scottish giants inserted a sell-on clause into the deal that took the 25-year-old to Southampton in the summer of 2015, and are in line to receive at least £2.5million when he is sold.

Liverpool face competition from Manchester City for the centre-back, who has been outstanding for the Saints during his season-and-a-half in the Premier League.

Van Dijk has been a mainstay of Claude Puel’s side this season, making 20 appearances in all competitions and forming a fine partnership at the back with Rui Fonte.

The former Groningen centre-back has also made 12 appearances for the Holland national side as he becomes an increasingly influential figure for club and country.

Liverpool have been widely linked with Van Dijk in the last fortnight and reports of their interest is likely to escalate in the wake of their 4-3 defeat to Bournemouth on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp’s side let slip a 3-1 second-half lead at the Vitality Stadium following a defensive meltdown, albeit in the absence of key centre-back Joel Matip due to a minor ankle injury.

Liverpool ended the weekend third in the Premier League, four points behind leaders Chelsea and one adrift of second-placed Arsenal.

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