Liverpool Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Virgil van Dijk and Luan

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistAugust 10, 2017

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28:  Virgil van Dijk of Southampton looks on during the Premier League match between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary's Stadium on December 28, 2016 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Anfield legend Mark Lawrenson has said he believes Southampton's Virgil van Dijk will join Liverpool this summer.

Speaking to BBC Sport (h/t James Walters of the Daily Star), the pundit declared he thinks the Dutch centre-back will arrive on Merseyside after being linked with a switch to manager Jurgen Klopp's team for several months.

Lawrenson said:

"I think they will end up getting Van Dijk. I have no inside knowledge but it would appear he wants to come to Liverpool."

"He brings quality, can play from the back, which is great, and with four centre-backsDejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavanit brings competition for places."

"Bringing in a quality player improves the games of the players around them. It keeps everyone on their toes."

Peter Dejong/Associated Press

Per BBC Sport, the Netherlands international has handed in a transfer request as he attempts to force an exit from Saints. Van Dijk asked the St Mary's Stadium side to consider offers for him if a major team showed interest in his services. The player signed a six-year deal in 2016, but it is evident he now wishes to exit the south-coast club.

Van Dijk said: "I had very much hoped to retain the good relationship I've always enjoyed with everyone at the club, especially the fans, but unfortunately in light of everything that's happened, this has now been seriously affected."

Fernando Llano/Associated Press
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In other Reds news, Klopp has stepped up his interest in Gremio attacker Luan after following the player.

According to Globo Esporte (h/t Coral Barry of Metro), Liverpool have been impressed with the striker after he scored 11 goals in 22 matches for the Brazilian club.

The 24-year-old's form has alerted potential buyers to his talent and versatility. Luan can play across the forward line, adhering to Klopp's favoured tactics.

Per Globo Esporte, Gremio vice-president Odorico Roman confirmed offers from Spartak Moscow and Sampdoria had been received. Luan has been tagged with nickname of the "new Ronaldinho," with expectations about his future building.

Here is Luan in action:

Liverpool's biggest weakness last season was their inconsistency in defence, and the capture of Van Dijk would go along way to correcting that issue.

The Reds need to become a better team if they are to survive in the UEFA Champions League and also put together a Premier League title challenge. 

Klopp has a wealth of attacking options, but his defenders have left much to be desired when tested against top opposition.

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