Liverpool to prioritise Virgil van Dijk deal over Mohamed Salah, as Declan Rice emerges as option
Mohamed Salah has been vocal in the press of late, but Liverpool won't be rushed into tying him down to a new deal and their plan remains to secure the future of captain Virgil van Dijk first, writes Dean Jones in the latest Inside Football. Meanwhile, looking ahead to the summer, a new target has emerged...
Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on October 15, 2020 in Liverpool, England
Van Dijk is working on his rehabilitation from a cruciate knee ligament injury and the plan is to announce him on a new contract by the summer. He is still on the same terms as when he joined Liverpool in 2018 and the club have always planned to offer an improved deal this season. There are even some suggestions that an agreement in principle over terms had been made before his injury, but the situation will be revisited in the coming weeks.
That new deal is almost certain to eclipse the current basic deal of Salah, who earns around £200,000-a-week and is the club’s highest earner. Liverpool will begin to more seriously consider his situation once Van Dijk is signed up but will not be pressured into a new deal, particularly as there has been no concrete interest from any clubs in signing him. His contract expires in 2023.
New defender unlikely, but Rice a possible option
West Ham United's Declan Rice during the Premier League match between Everton and West Ham United
Image credit: Getty Images
Liverpool’s Fenway Sports Group owners pride themselves on ensuring they make calculated business decisions and that is reflected in transfers as well as contracts.
There has been plenty of expectation that they would sign a central defender in this window but the message from sources inside Anfield has been that they are very unlikely to do so.
They have been scouting though and have a shortlist of players that they would be ready to turn to if their situation at the back reached crisis point. Jurgen Klopp has so far managed the spate of injuries by changing the roles of players like Fabinho, who will also be in line for a new deal at the end of the season, and Jordan Henderson.