Virgil van Dijk breaks silence on his Liverpool transfer and Klopp's comments


Van Dijk has broken the silence on transfer talks with Jurgen Klopp ahead of his January 2018 move to Liverpool

Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk

The Reds initially tried to sign the Dutchman a summer before but were forced to apologise to Southampton and end their interest in the player after being accused of unlawful means to his services.

Manchester City and Chelsea were also keen to sign Van Dijk at the time, only because he was only interested in a move to Anfield. On 'Overlap' with Gary Neville, he revealed exactly what Klopp told him to convince him to join Liverpool, while also highlighting what really happened in the transfer talks.

Van Dijk also revealed what Klopp told him about his club's record £75m transfer fee, explaining why he was able to make an immediate impact at Anfield.

"There were rumours at the time that Man City were in for you and other clubs as well. Why did you choose Liverpool that time?" Neville asked.

"There were rumours that Jurgen Klopp was doing a big job on you in terms of contacting you and sending you videos. Is that true? Go on, you can tell us now!"

“I know you want to hear all this stuff!" Van Dijk replied.

"The reason I chose Liverpool is I really wanted to play for a club that lives and breathes football, and also the project. In the end when I spoke to Jurgen Klopp, the message was also what he wants from me and what he wants from me in the future was something that made me even more hungry to come here.

“I think everyone from the outside world felt there were a couple of pieces missing towards the success that Liverpool could have again. It’s never guaranteed but he saw that I was definitely a piece to the puzzle.

“As were the others we got in the summer, for example Alisson and Fabinho . The importance he put in me and me I was going to be was definitely a big boost. ‘We want to get you or we don’t get anyone.’ That was a big message for me.”

Van Dijk added: “Yeah, I definitely felt ready but I know how the world works. “I knew that everyone is going to speaking about £75m instead of actually the quality I have. I remember you (Neville) speaking about it because everyone gave their reaction at the time.

“When we announced it, we had Sky Sports on that evening. We knew there was going to be so many opinions coming. For me, it was keep my head down, get started and just be as good as I can.

“That’s the only influence I had. It also helped with the manager. I spoke with the manager loads of times in that period but the most important message that he gave me was, ‘Just play your game. A price-tag is a price-tag. You didn’t decide that you cost £75m. That’s decided by the market and negotiations.’

“That helped a lot. Obviously the first game I played (against Everton) helped a lot as well. Winning, scoring the winner.

“Then going away with the boys on a trip to Dubai, to get to know everyone personally. It all helped and after that I hit the ground running and just carried on.”

His move to Liverpool also allowed Van Dijk to work with Andy Robertson, a player he had previously tried to persuade former club Celtic to sign.

“Robbo is a fantastic player. Full of energy, passionate,” he said. “It has been a pleasure to play with him. He’s one of the leaders, he has that in him. He’s captain of Scotland.

“I played against him when I was at Celtic, playing against Dundee United. Funnily enough I was saying to our scouts that we should try and get him at Celtic. In the end he went to Hull and things happen.

“In general, playing with him has been incredible. I’m hard to him but he’s hard to me. We have a good relationship and what to get the maximum out of each other.

“Outside of the pitch, he’s one of the funniest guys in the team and always up for a laugh. That’s something you need in a team.”

Virgil van Dijk was also questioned who he would love Liverpool to sign at this point.

“ Kevin De Bruyne," he answered. “Yeah (I love him), he’s unbelievable.

“I think if he would have played at Liverpool, we would have gone even further than we already are. He’s outstanding. Good on the ball, pressing, scoring. He’s got everything as a modern day midfielder and footballer in general. I think he is an outstanding player.”

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