Liverpool could beat Tottenham to the signing of an Inter Milan defender following Virgil van Dijk’s injury, according to reports.
Van Dijk had to be substituted at half time against Brentford after picking up a hamstring issue. Liverpool were 2-0 down at that point and things did not get too much better after the restart, with Brentford going on to win 3-1.
In a post-match interview, Jurgen Klopp tried to reduce fears among Liverpool fans by saying Van Dijk had simply tweaked his hamstring. He added that the injury is ‘nothing serious’.
But there was a concerning update regarding the Netherlands star on Wednesday. As per The Times reporter Paul Joyce, Van Dijk is ‘facing a spell on the sidelines’ for Liverpool. This is because his injury is ‘worse than first feared’.
BBC Sport have since revealed he will see a specialist to assess the severity of the problem and how long Liverpool will be without him for.
Former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor is worried about Van Dijk’s ability to return from the injury. He is now 31 years old, and at this stage of a player’s career it gradually becomes harder to overcome injuries and get back to your best.
Agbonlahor even suggested Van Dijk’s legs ‘have gone’, though this is perhaps taking the analysis a step too far.
Klopp will likely start Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip at centre-half over the next few games while Van Dijk is out. He also has Joe Gomez and Nat Phillips in his squad.
Liverpool eye replacement for Virgil van Dijk after injury
However, Liverpool could move to bring in a replacement for Van Dijk this month. That is because Konate put in a very disappointing performance against Brentford, while Gomez is injury prone and Phillips is not up to standard.
Reports now claim there is the possibility of Liverpool leaving Tottenham stunned and capturing Inter’s Milan Skriniar.
The centre-back is heading towards free agency. His Inter contract expires at the end of the season and Inter are struggling to sort out a renewal. They will only go up to €6.5million per season, whereas Skriniar wants €8m per season.
This gave Spurs a boost in their hunt to sign the player. But according to Italian source Inter Live, Antonio Conte’s side will now face competition from Liverpool for Skriniar.
They predict Liverpool will contact Inter to discuss a deal for Skriniar this month. And due to his contract dilemma, Inter will feel ‘compelled’ to listen to Liverpool’s offer.
Milan Skriniar available for cut-price fee
There is no mention of how much the Reds might bid for the Slovakia international. But it will not be close to his €60m (£53m) valuation on transfermarkt, as Liverpool know he will available on a free in the summer.
Due to this, Inter may have to accept Liverpool’s terms in January. It would be better for Inter to make some money back on him, rather than let him move to England on a free.
Skriniar would be a top-class replacement for Van Dijk. He has proven himself to be one of the best centre-backs in Italy over the past few seasons, helping Inter to become Serie A champions in the 2020-21 season.
At 27 years of age, Skriniar would also be able to succeed from Van Dijk once the latter hangs up his boots. Skriniar could form a solid defensive partnership with Konate over the coming years.
Meanwhile, a report has revealed Liverpool ‘declined’ the chance to sign a top player who is now set for a Chelsea move.
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