Manager: £50m Liverpool target ‘ready for move to top club’

Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United target Virgil van Dijk ‘ready for move to top club’  in the summer transfer window, according to Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers

The Dutch international has become recognised as one of the Premier League’s top defenders since making his debut for the Saints in 2015 but the 25-year-old is being heavily linked with a move from St Mary’s.

Top England clubs have all made enquiries about van Dijk as they look to bolster their defence and a deal could cost £50m.

The former Celtic man is blessed with size, athleticism and solid vision—traits he’s put to good use for Saints. He feels comfortable with the ball at his feet and can be a force in the air, and he rarely gets rattled.

His positioning has become consistently better over the past three years, and it is at the level where he often doesn’t even have to make the tackle.

And now Rodgers van Dijk is ready to take the next step in his career and join one of the Premier League’s top clubs.

Asked if Dutchman is good enough for one of the Premier League’s top clubs, ex-Liverpool boss told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “Well he certainly looks it.

“The problem sometimes for some of the guys playing up here for Celtic is that people were thinking that they were only playing in Scottish football, which is of course a less competitive league than the Premier League.

“But if you’re doing it at a European level for Celtic and you’re playing under the pressure for Celtic, then you have to have something about you.

“I speak to the guys at the club who have worked with Virgil van Dijk, and he’s always had those qualities. It’s just up to someone to take that punt on him.

“He’s 6ft 4in, he’s fast, he can play, he’s an international footballer, he’s good in the air – he’s got everything. You saw that in a player like Wanyama when he was up here as well, you know they’re a top player.

“Virgil is at a great club, let’s not forget, Southampton is a fantastic club, and if he left there then of course it would have to be what you would consider to be one of the top four or top six clubs.”

It’s believed that the towering Toulouse centre-half Christopher Jullien is now on the Saints radar, with manager Claude Puel scouring the market for defensive reinforcements to replace departing star.

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