Virgil van Dijk, a Liverpool defender, has previously praised Manchester United transfer target Jurrien Timber, who has also been linked with a move to Anfield
Erik ten Hag may be primarily interested in acquiring an elite striker this summer, but the Dutchman also has other plans.
Jurrien Timber, a highly-rated Ajax defender, was heavily tipped to follow his former manager to Manchester United last year before deciding against a move to the Premier League. He is, however, set to move this summer after revealing the terms of a deal with the Dutch giants.
Unsurprisingly, this has piqued the interest of a number of elite clubs. While Ten Hag remains hopeful of completing a late deal for his compatriot, there has been widespread speculation that Liverpool may try to derail any deal after Timber’s girlfriend was spotted house hunting in Merseyside earlier this month.
While it is unclear whether Jurgen Klopp is looking for another defender, with a midfield overhaul expected to be his top priority this summer, Liverpool colossus Virgil van Dijk has already endorsed Timber.
After playing alongside Timber for the Netherlands national team, the Reds’ talisman was adamant back in September that his compatriot is already a better player than he was.
“I wasn’t nearly as far along as he is now (at the same age),” Van Dijk previously explained. “I can’t say enough good things about him. He is an excellent player and a consummate professional. He has a lot of potential. Hopefully, he will continue to grow. Then I believe everything will be fine.”
If Liverpool decides to make a summer bid for Timber, they could sabotage another of Manchester United’s transfer plans after beating them to a deal for Cody Gakpo.
Before the Reds swooped in to complete a deal over the Christmas period, the former PSV Eindhoven star was thought to be one of Ten Hag’s top January transfer targets.
Despite reports that Van Dijk was influential in convincing Gakpo to choose Liverpool over Manchester United, the Reds defender insisted that while he did discuss a move with the versatile forward, his role was exaggerated.
Van Dijk stated in January, “No, that was overstated [talk of him convincing Gakpo].” I spoke with him, and I can only say good things because I’m here, having a good time. We’ve had a lot of success, but as the manager pointed out, if it were me, it would be an easy decision; I wouldn’t need convincing.
“If there were any questions, I answered them truthfully.” I’m glad he’s here, and let’s get started as soon as possible.”