With the January transfer window quickly approaching, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been keen to play down rumours that the club will dip in to the market this winter despite facing the prospect of almost two months without talisman Philippe Coutinho after the Brazilian picked up an ankle injury at the weekend and Sadio Mane’s eventual absence with the Senegalese forward going for glory at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Borussia Dortmund youngster Christian Pulisic’s name has been thrown around quite a bit lately with the club having a known interest in taking the American to Anfield, but most of the serious transfer talk has been about an altogether different kind of player with Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk being heavily linked with a move to Merseyside — something that makes for a good story, but one that Saints boss Claude Puel has dismissed as nothing but speculation.
“Van Dijk is a great player and has a contract,” said the Frenchman, speaking to the press ahead of their League Cup quarter-final with Arsenal. “It is important all of the good players stay with us and continue their work and improve with Southampton. He has the ability to become one of the five or six best defenders in the world,” added Puel, full of praise for the Dutchman. “He has the capacity, it is difficult to see something better on him. It is important he continues with stability, Southampton is a good club for him.”
Bundesliga transplants Joel Matip and Loris Karius may have brought some defensive stability to Liverpool’s often chaotic defense, but the Reds continue to have problems at the back and though it’s debatable whether or not the addition of van Dijk would be able to solve them, the Dutchman’s from speaks for itself. With that being said, any move for the Dutchman would likely hinge on the Anfield outfit being able to offload forgotten French defender Mamadou Sakho — something that shouldn’t be too hard since he’s been relegated to playing with the U-23 side since falling out with Klopp this summer.