Liverpool will sign top 26-year-old if Philippe Coutinho leaves, claims pundit

Stuart Pearce expects Liverpool to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton if Philippe Coutinho completes a move to Barcelona

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp Photo: The Sport Review

Liverpool will sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton if Philippe Coutinho moves to Barcelona this summer, according to Stuart Pearce.

The Reds are facing a battle to keep hold of one of their key players in the summer transfer window as Barcelona line up a bid to sign the Liverpool star to replace Neymar.

The Brazil striker completed a world-record £198m switch to Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain to open up the possibility of the Merseyside outfit selling Coutinho to the Catalan side.

Liverpool have endured a tough summer transfer window so far after failing to complete deals to bring in RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita and Southampton defender Van Dijk.

The Reds have cooled their interest in Keita but Liverpool are still being linked with Van Dijk despite officially ending their interest in an embarrassing statement back in June.

Premier League champions Chelsea are rumoured to have entered the race to sign the Saints centre-half following John Terry’s exit this summer.

Former Manchester City and Nottingham Forest defender believes Liverpool will sign Van Dijk if Coutinho completes a transfer to Barcelona before deadline day.

“It’s not like for like, but they’ll step up the finance for Van Dijk,” Pearce told Sky Sports News on Monday.

“All of a sudden, we know that Barcelona have got finance so that’s pushed the asking price up if Barcelona ring [for Coutinho].

“If Liverpool sell him, all of a sudden they’ve got more money – and that money might just be sent to the south coast to Southampton [to sign Van Dijk]. It’s a drip feed thing.”

Liverpool have signed AS Roma winger Mohamed Salah, Chelsea teenager Dominic Solanke and Hull City defender Andy Robertson.

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