Liverpool could be set to smash the world record transfer fee for a defender as they look to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton, with Mamadou Sakho possibly going the other way, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The Netherlands international has developed to be one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League with a number of rave reviews over his play in recent months and that has not gone unnoticed at Anfield.

The former Celtic defender is expected to cost £60 million for whoever accrues his services this summer which would eclipse the current record of £50m that Paris Saint Germain paid for David Luiz three years ago.

Van Dijk still has five years left on his contract with the Saints and has not yet told the club he wishes to leave but reports suggest he is mulling over his options with Anfield expected to be his favoured destination should he leave despite interest from Manchester City, Chelsea or Arsenal.

As part of the deal Southampton could be offered the services of Sakho, who looks extremely likely to leave Liverpool this summer. St Mary’s chiefs were interested in the France international in January but were priced out of any such transfer.

Since then the defender has gone out on loan and revived his career in a Crystal Palace side which were watertight when he was in their side.

Should Jurgen Klopp get his man Van Dijk would join a host of former Saints players in the red half of Merseyside with the likes of Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Sadio Mane having made the same switch in recent times.


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