Liverpool told to prioritise selling Philippe Coutinho and signing top 26-year-old

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright urges Liverpool to sell Philippe Coutinho and sign Virgil van Dijk to improve their defence

Arsenal legend Ian Wright Photo: Screen grab

Liverpool need to prioritise selling Philippe Coutinho and signing Virgil van Dijk to improve their defence, Ian Wright has claimed.

The Reds are fending off interest from La Liga giants Barcelona in the Brazil international over the past week or so.

Coutinho has handed in a transfer request but Liverpool have reiterated that the 25-year-old attacker is not for sale in the summer transfer window.

The South American is reported to have been the subject of £80m and £90m bids from the Catalan side as Barcelona look to sign a replacement for Neymar.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have been linked with a move to sign Netherlands international Van Dijk from Southampton throughout the summer.

The Saints club captain has handed in a transfer request like Coutinho but the south coast are reluctant to sell the 26-year-old.

Asked whether Liverpool need prioritise keeping Coutinho or signing Van Dijk, former Arsenal striker Wright told BBC Radio 5 Live:

“I’d want to try and bring in Virgil van Dijk if I could get the money for Coutinho.”

Liverpool surrendered a 3-2 lead in added time at Vicarage Road to draw 3-3 with Watford in their opening Premier League game on Saturday afternoon.

The Reds have signed AS Roma winger Mohamed Salah, Chelsea teenager Dominic Solanke and Hull City defender Andy Robertson in the summer transfer window.

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