Virgil van Dijk has played down talk of him signing a new Liverpool contract.
Earlier this month it was claimed the Dutch centre-back had agreed a ‘HUGE’ deal with the Reds as a reward for his incredible impact on Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Van Dijk has revolutionised Liverpool’s back line since his £75million arrival from Southampton in 2018, with his performances in the Premier League and the club’s triumphant Champions League campaign seeing him tipped as favourite for the Ballon d’Or.
And it was claimed Manchester United’s big-money signing of Harry Maguire gave Van Dijk’s representatives a ballpark figure to aim for in their contract discussions, and the defender was due to increase his wages from £125,000-a-week to nearer the £200,000-a-week mark.
But, following the Reds’ disappointing 2-0 defeat to Napoli in their European opener on Tuesday night, Liverpool’s no.4 confirmed he is NOT currently in talks over fresh terms.
“There is nothing going on, so that’s it,” he told Sky Sports News in Naples. “It’s not on me!
“I saw some reports in the media that I was agreeing a new deal and stuff, but I’m not even discussing anything at the moment.
“The only thing I want to do right now is focus on the games and we’ll see in the future what may happen.”
Van Dijk has been one of Liverpool’s outstanding performers over the past year, but dropped a clanger against Napoli as he allowed the Italian side to score an injury-time goal to wrap up their 2-0 win.
After Dries Mertens opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 82nd minute, Van Dijk attempted to play it out from the back in the closing stages but was dispossessed, with the ball falling to ex-Tottenham striker Fernando Llorente who slotted past Adrian.
LIVE on talkSPORT
Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week
- Olympiakos vs Tottenham (Wednesday, 5:55pm) – talkSPORT
- Shakhtar Donetsk vs Man City (Wednesday, 8pm) – talkSPORT
- PSG vs Real Madrid (Wednesday, 8pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Eintracht Frankfurt vs Arsenal (Thursday, 5:55pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Leicester vs Tottenham (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Leeds vs Derby (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Everton vs Sheffield United (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Newcastle vs Brighton (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
- West Brom vs Huddersfield (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2
That’s not to say Liverpool played badly – they conjured plenty of chances – but their front three of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane had an off day as they just couldn’t find the net.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, who accused Napoli forward Jose Callejon of diving to win the spot kick, said after the game: “This was a much better game than we played last time when we lost 1-0 in the last minute [to Napoli last season]. It was an open game, in moments we controlled the game, but we had a lot of counter-attacks and didn’t finish them off.
“That’s a problem. Then in the second half we had this wild game, we were running, they were running. They’ve killed everybody on the pitch, started controlling again and then we’ve conceded a penalty.
“But we cannot change that so we have to be critical with ourselves. We did well in a lot of moments, we played a lot of good football but we didn’t finish off.
“We controlled it in moments, but we had not enough chances in the end. What you saw was a lot of respect from both sides, we both defended well and each ball we lost, or they lost, was immediately a threat.
“The last ball is the most difficult ball anyway, and if you are not in the right circumstances it’s even more difficult. And so there were moments when we should have done better, for sure.”