Liverpool news: Reds told to EXPECT Barcelona and Real Madrid transfer bids this summer

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That’s according to BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks.

The Reds centre-back has been tipped to contend for the Player of the Year award this season having been a catalyst for the success of Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Liverpool are in contention for the Premier League title and lead defending champions Manchester City by two points, albeit having played an extra game.

And Van Dijk has been an integral member of Liverpool’s success, helping them to keep 17 clean sheets in 33 top-flight matches with a succession of commanding displays.

Crooks felt that the Dutchman was once again pivotal as the Merseyside outfit saw off Southampton on Friday night, coming from 1-0 down to win 3-1 at St Mary’s.

And he thinks that Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barca will soon be in for the 27-year-old – even though Liverpool would reject all offers.

Crooks wrote in his Team of the Week piece for BBC Sport: “What a ball to Roberto Firmino from Virgil van Dijk. 

“The Dutch international didn’t just boot the ball up the field, he turned a smart piece of defending into attack.

“This glorious counter enabled Firmino to square the ball for Jordan Henderson to score as Liverpool won at Southampton on Friday.

“Real Madrid and Barcelona must be in frantic talks with their banks about how much it might cost to buy Van Dijk. 

“An audacious bid is bound to happen sooner or later – if it hasn’t already.”

But Klopp confirmed last week that Liverpool’s club-record signing Van Dijk is going nowhere and sees his long-term future at Anfield.

The German boss said: “Virgil came here and it was a big step for him.

“He knew he could improve, he wants to improve, he was at Celtic and could win titles there, but this is the first club really where – he sees his future here now. 

“Let’s try everything possible to be successful.”

After the win at Southampton, meanwhile, Van Dijk insists Liverpool must continue their run of form having come from positions of adversity to win late on in three successive top-flight games.

He told Liverpool’s official website: “The most important thing is to just keep on doing what we’ve been doing all season.

“We are always going to be dangerous with the players we have, with the way we play, and you saw it was always going to be difficult to defend against us for 90 minutes for them.

“There was [always] going to be some spaces, some opportunities, and you need the quality that we have as well to step up, and [it was] fantastic.”

Liverpool now turn their attentions back to the Champions League with a quarter-final first leg against Porto at Anfield awaiting tomorrow night (8pm).

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