Liverpool are prepared to offer defender Virgil van Dijk a new contract as they seek to fend off interest from La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The Dutchman has been one of the world’s top centre-backs since his move to Anfield in January 2018, and his impressive form has been vital to Liverpool’s challenge for the Premier League title.
News of the contract offer comes from the Daily Express, who state that Liverpool are ready to offer van Dijk a new £200,000-a-week deal, which would see him earn the same as the club’s top earner Mohamed Salah.
Club officials are keen for Van Dijk to renew his deal and reject interest from Real and Barcelona, both of whom have stepped up their interest in the 27-year-old in recent weeks.
Real are set to spend heavily in the summer as they look to recover from a terribly disappointing campaign which has seen them fail to mount a title challenge, as well as crash out of the Champions League following Tuesday’s 4-1 defeat at the hands of Ajax.
Los Merengues could even part ways with veteran centre-back Sergio Ramos, and they would certainly want to replace him with an established star such as van Dijk.
However, they face competition from Barcelona, who have long been on the lookout for a new centre-back. Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt is said to be high on their wish list, as they view him as a potential future star, but they could opt to move for fellow Dutchman Van Dijk after watching his impressive rise to prominence in recent years.
Liverpool have no desire to part ways with their star defender, and are eager for him to sign a new contract, despite his current deal running until the summer of 2023. Following his £75m move from Southampton, Van Dijk signed a £125,000-a-week deal, but it is felt that he merits a higher salary, and many European giants would not hesitate to offer him one.
He has made 29 appearances in the Premier League this season, helping Liverpool keep 17 clean sheets which has helped them to second in the league table.