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Report: Virgil van Dijk rejected Barcelona approach

CARDIFF, WALES - APRIL 21: Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk looks on during the Premier League match between Cardiff City and Liverpool FC at Cardiff City Stadium on April 21, 2019 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
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Virgil van Dijk reportedly instantly shut down an approach from Barcelona as he has no plans whatsoever on leaving Liverpool.

Since completing a world-record £75m from Southampton in January 2018, Van Dijk has become one of the world’s most respected defenders at Liverpool.

The Netherlands international was pivotal in Liverpool’s turnaround into becoming Premier League title challengers this season and won the PFA Player of the Year.

It could be argued, though, that Van Dijk’s greatest impact came in helping the Reds claim Champions League glory. His towering presence in the backline even prevented a single opponent dribbling past him last season.

Liverpool legend Ray Clemence went as far as tipping Van Dijk to become the 2019 Ballon d’Or winner. It would make him the first defender since Fabio Cannavaro 13 years ago to win the award.

So, it’s only natural that there are plenty of suitors eyeing up a move for Van Dijk in the summer transfer window.

And the Daily Mirror’s John Cross claims that Barcelona are among them and made a cheeky approach for Van Dijk.

“Do not expect it to happen for a moment, but Barcelona made enquiries about whether Virgil van Dijk could be tempted to leave Liverpool,” he wrote on his weekly column.

“They were quickly given short shrift by the Dutch defender’s representatives. They did not bother taking it further.”

The Catalan giants could certainly do with a new centre-back like Van Dijk as they’ve struggled to find a partner for Gerard Pique at the heart of their defence.

Making matters worse is Samuel Umtiti’s expected summer exit from Camp Nou amid a lack of regular opportunities. It leaves Clement Lenglet, Jean-Clair Todibo, Jeison Murillo and the injury-prone Thomas Vermaelen as their remaining centre-backs.

VIGO, SPAIN – MAY 04: Samuel Umtiti of Barcelona in action during the La Liga match between RC Celta de Vigo and FC Barcelona at Abanca-Balaídos on May 4, 2019 in Vigo, Spain. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)