Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool center-back Virgil van Dijk’s majestic record of being unbeaten at Anfield came to an end after relegation threatened Leeds United downed the Reds 2-1 in their own backyard. However, Liverpool’s problems run deeper than that single fact as they languish 9th in the Premier League after picking just 4 wins and 4 draws from 12 games. With the league title already out of their reach, the Reds face a serious risk of missing out on a top-four finish and the subsequent Champions League football as well.

As a result, Liverpool have reportedly set in motion their plans for the future as they eye a squad overhaul over next transfer windows. And according to 22-year-old Torino center-back Perr Schuurs’ agent George Gardi, his client was a subject to interest from Jurgen Klopp’s team as they look to bring in a long term replacement of Virgil van Dijk. Gardi further claims Liverpool even ‘moved’ to acquire Schuur, Van Dijk’s Holland teammate this summer.

Virgil van Dijk
Liverpool are searching for a successor to Virgil van Dijk, who is evidently on a decline. Credits: Twitter

Liverpool face stern competition for their next ‘Virgil van Dijk’

Schuurs made his name at Ajax, before moving to Italy this summer for a fee of £8 million. The 22-year-old had joined the Dutch champions on a permanent basis from Fortuna Sittard in the summer of 2018. He plied his trade for Ajax for four years, making a significant 95 appearances and playing an important role in the club lifting six trophies over the period of time. However, in a mass exodus this summer at Ajax, which saw them lose a staggering 8 first-team players, Schuurs too bid goodbye.

The Holland international is now enjoying his time in Torino as the Italian side sits 9th in the Serie A. Schuurs has so far made 8 league appearances for his team, helping them to 4 wins and draw with their latest triumph coming against reigning champions AC Milan, where the center-back was named in the starting line-up for a fourth consecutive time. He is slowly feeling at home in Turin, but is already being chased by some of the elite European clubs. Speaking to TuttoSport, his agent Gardi revealed:

“Over time, clubs of the calibre of Tottenham, Liverpool and PSG had moved to take the player [Schuurs]. The operation, as I told you, was long, but fair and in some passages, even pleasant. In addition to those three clubs, three Italian clubs also wanted Schuurs.

Virgil van Dijk
The Reds want Torino’s 22-year-old Perr Schuurs to replace Virgil van Dijk. Credits: Twitter

“However, having taken a path [with Torino], we went on to follow it without delay even with a strong conviction. Thanks to Torino, I am sure Schuurs can become a pillar of the Dutch national team. Schuurs is enjoying Torino, as much as I hope that the club and the fans can enjoy ever better performances from Perr.”

With his agent making the intentions of his client clear that he wants to develop in Italy, it will be difficult for Liverpool to entice him to Anfield as they want him to succeed Virgil van Dijk, according to TuttoMercatoWeb. Van Dijk has had experienced a massive fall in his form since making a return from his long term cruciate ligament injury sustained last season.

Moreover, they face stern competition from fellow Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur who want a new center-back on demand of Antonio Conte. The Italian is not content with his current options and has asked the club to bring in a new defender. Meanwhile, PSG and Atletico too are on the pursuit of Schuurs, further making the race to acquire his services tight. PSG missed out on Inter’s Milan Skriniar this summer, who looks set to pen a new deal at the club, forcing the Parisians to go after Schuurs. There’s a solid interest Liverpool will have to fend-off from these lot if they are land their next ‘Virgil van Dijk’.