Liverpool are to prioritise a new contract for Virgil van Dijk despite Mo Salah angling for fresh terms to guarantee his future at Anfield.
Earlier in the season Salah flirted with the possibility of joining Barcelona or Real Madrid. On Monday, in an interview with a Norwegian TV channel, Salah was asked about his future again and said: “I don’t know. If you ask me, I say I want to stay here as long as I can, but as I’ve said before, it’s in the club’s hands.”
His comments are being read as him pushing for an improved contract but the club are expected to stick to their clear planning when it comes to contract and transfer deals for 2021.
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Van Dijk is working on his rehabilitation from a cruciate knee ligament injury and the plan is to announce him on a new contract by the summer. He is still on the same terms as when he joined Liverpool in 2018 and the club have always planned to offer an improved deal this season. There are even some suggestions that an agreement in principle over terms had been made before his injury, but the situation will be revisited in the coming weeks.
That new deal is almost certain to eclipse the current basic deal of Salah, who earns around £200,000-a-week and is the club’s highest earner. Liverpool will begin to more seriously consider his situation once Van Dijk is signed up but will not be pressured into a new deal, particularly as there has been no concrete interest from any clubs in signing him. His contract expires in 2023.

New defender unlikely, but Rice a possible option

West Ham United's Declan Rice during the Premier League match between Everton and West Ham United

Image credit: Getty Images

Liverpool’s Fenway Sports Group owners pride themselves on ensuring they make calculated business decisions and that is reflected in transfers as well as contracts.
There has been plenty of expectation that they would sign a central defender in this window but the message from sources inside Anfield has been that they are very unlikely to do so.
They have been scouting though and have a shortlist of players that they would be ready to turn to if their situation at the back reached crisis point. Jurgen Klopp has so far managed the spate of injuries by changing the roles of players like Fabinho, who will also be in line for a new deal at the end of the season, and Jordan Henderson.
A panic buy or quick fix in the coming days would be a big surprise despite the fact Liverpool’s title defence is in danger and they have just been beaten 1-0 at home to Burnley.
Instead, the club are expected to carefully plot signings for the summer window in line with the impact of Covid-19 on their financial situation—when a centre-back will be high on the agenda.
A Gini Wijnaldum replacement could also materialise, as there has been no contract breakthrough and he looks set to leave as a free agent.
One early name to look out for as a potential target in that area is West Ham’s Declan Rice.
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