ON YER DIJK
It seems like an age since Juventus were ‘plotting a stunning’ move for Virgil van Dijk. Back in February, the centre-half was said to be ‘open to a move abroad’ when Liverpool won the Premier League title. The Old Lady was preparing to offer £150m for the young man.
The Sun (we know) were the culprits behind that rather silly story, and they are back again with something of an update more than four months on. Juve are no longer in the picture but PSG ‘have made it known’ that they would quite like Van Dijk, perhaps as a replacement for Premier League-bound Thiago Silva.
The good news for Liverpool is that ‘his head has not been turned’. The Reds will offer a pay rise to ‘end fears’ that he could ‘jump ship’ when this interminable season is finally over. And Van Dijk ‘will commit’ to a new £220,000-a-week contract worth £57m over five years. It is ‘done and dusted but it will not be rubber stamped until next month,’ when he will finally be over Erling Haaland.
That will make Van Dijk the highest-paid player in Liverpool history, although Sadio Mane might soon be ‘on a par’ with him if negotiations go well there.
SAVED BY THE BELL
Arsenal, meanwhile, face a fight to keep a hold of their own dressing-room leader. Hector Bellerin is on a ‘list of players’ Inter Milan will target ‘to beef up their defence’.
Antonio Conte will have to set aside around £27m for the right-back, with the Daily Express suggesting the ‘uncertainty’ at Arsenal could lead Bellerin to leave.
The Spaniard ‘is believed to be wanting to see signs of progress under manager Mikel Arteta’ before extending a deal that still has three years left to run. It’s safe to say there’s no rush.
But with Juventus also interested, that could spark Arsenal into preventative action.
They could end up having to put out transfer fires everywhere. While it was previously thought Arsenal could have something of a free run at signing Axel Disasi, some Premier League competition has emerged.
L’Equipe claim Wolves have made an offer and it’s their ‘turn to get down to business’. They think £13.5m should be enough to tempt Reims into a deal.
And they might be right. Disasi has one year left on his current contract. But he is 22 and started all but one Ligue Un game for the team with the best defensive record in France’s cancelled top-flight season. That looks like an absolute snip.
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