Liverpool set for talks with 'the next Virgil van Dijk': report

Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp reacts to their win after the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Brentford at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on November 12, 2023. Liverpool won the game 3-0.
(Image credit: Paul ELLIS / AFP)

Liverpool will open talks to sign Virgil Van Dijk's replacement in January, as they look to revitalise their defence. 

Virgil Van Dijk is still going strong at Liverpool after becoming club captain in the summer, helping the Reds to three clean sheets in the Premier League this term. 

But at 32, the Dutch centre-back is approaching the twilight of his career - and Jurgen Klopp wants to add a younger alternative to the squad in January to learn from the Anfield stalwart. 

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool looks on during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Nottingham Forest at Anfield on October 29, 2023 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

Van Dijk is entering the twilight of his career (Image credit: Getty Images)

As reported by 90min, Liverpool are set to open talks with Lucas Beraldo, who currently plies his trade with Sao Paulo in Brazil.

The 20-year-old is seen as the long-term successor to Van Dijk, according to the report, and Sao Paulo are now set to listen to offers for Beraldo. General manager Rui Costa accepts that the centre-back's future lies elsewhere, despite his contract running until 2027. 

"They are boys with very good minds, who know that the moment will come [to leave]. We'll always talk to the agent and the player," he told Globoesporte.

Liverpool target Lucas Beraldo of Sao Paulo controls the ball during a match between Sao Paulo and Athletico Paranaense as part of Brasileirao Series A 2023 at Morumbi Stadium on June 21, 2023 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Beraldo is naturally left-footed (Image credit: Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

"We ended up renewing Beraldo's contract until 2027. We will negotiate with each of them if the offer is good for everyone. But I have never faced pressure from these boys. Quite the opposite."

A left-footed defender, Beraldo also offers a unique solution to Liverpool's backline. Currently, Jurgen Klopp has four right-footed centre-backs, meaning Van Dijk operates from the left. There's an increasing trend among teams to play defenders on their natural side, though, and Beraldo could be the perfect option to help the Reds.

Since breaking into the Sao Paulo first team in 2022, a number of European sides have been tracking Beraldo. In fact, Wolves even had an offer rejected in the summer transfer window, with Beraldo also a target for Bayern Munich and Monaco, too. 

More Liverpool stories 

With the January transfer window approaching, Liverpool have reportedly cooled their interest in one attacking target.

It comes amid talk of the Reds chasing 'the next Ashley Cole' as a successor to Andy Robertson.

But the 2019/20 Premier League champions might face a fight to hang onto one of their existing star men: Trent Alexander-Arnold has been linked with Real Madrid.

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