Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk has indicated to Liverpool that they are his preferred choice of destination in a summer move, sources have told ESPN FC.
A fee is yet to be agreed between Southampton and Liverpool, but the player is keen on moving to Liverpool over Manchester City and Chelsea this transfer window, the source added.
Liverpool appear to have won the race to sign the in-demand centre-half, who was at also at the top of Chelsea and City’s wishlists.
Sources told ESPN FC on Sunday that Liverpool were willing to match the wages rivals were offering Van Dijk, although personal terms are yet to have been agreed.
The Merseyside side club will now attempt to come to an agreement with Southampton for the transfer of the Netherlands international — a fee that could well exceed over £50 million and break Liverpool’s transfer record.
Van Dijk signed a six-year contract with Southampton in May 2016, and chairman Ralph Krueger recently said the club could realistically turn down a £60m bid for him.
Klopp is extremely keen on adding a top-quality central defender this summer and earmarked Van Dijk as a prime target.
Liverpool declined to comment on Van Dijk’s situation when contacted by ESPN FC.
Meanwhile, the Reds remain interested in signing Roma winger Mohamed Salah, although no further progress has been made in their pursuit of the Egyptian winger, sources have told ESPN FC.
Roma and Liverpool have not agreed a fee for the transfer of the player player and talks have not taken place between the clubs since last week.
Sources say Liverpool will look for alternatives should a move for Salah fail to materialise, with Lazio’s Keita Balde Diao under consideration.
Glenn is ESPN FC’s Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.