Virgil van Dijk has admitted that he ‘doesn’t know’ what the future holds for him at Liverpool following the news of Jurgen Klopp’s impending departure. The 56-year-old took the football world by surprise on Friday when he announced that he will be leaving the Reds at the end of the campaign after nine years in charge.
Van Dijk has just 18 months remaining on his current deal at Anfield, with his future up in the air despite his status as one of Liverpool’s most important assets. The Dutchman, who will celebrate his 33rd birthday later this year, is unsure whether he will be a part of the club’s long-term future with a huge summer of upheaval on the cards.
“Listen, I don’t know,” he said. “The club will have a big job on their hands, that is well known. To replace the manager and replace not only the manager, the staff is leaving, and there are so many things that will change, so the club has a big job on its hands.
“I am very curious which direction that will go in. But when that will be announced we will see our situation. I can’t say now.” When asked directly if he sees himself as part of the new era at Liverpool, Van Dijk replied: “That’s a big question. Well, I don’t know.”
Liverpool are usually reluctant to hand long-term deals to players over the age of 30, but it remains to be seen if an exception will be made for Van Dijk. He went on to insist that he is still fully committed to the job at hand, with Liverpool competing to win the Premier League, Champions League and both domestic cups this season.
“Obviously it will be the end of Jurgen Klopp’s era, I am very glad that I am still part of it,” added the defender. “That is why I don’t like to speak about it. I am still part of it. That is my main focus now and we will see at the end of the season.
“Hopefully we have the success that we all dream of and fight for each and every day. By then, there will probably be more clarification about what the club wants for the future and then we will see.”
Xabi Alonso is thought to be the early favourite to replace Klopp in the Anfield dugout, with the Spaniard enjoying an incredible start to his career in management. He is currently in charge at Bayer Leverkusen, who lead the way in the Bundesliga and recently became the first side in German football history to stay unbeaten after their first 25 games in all competitions.
Alonso was quizzed on Friday about the idea of succeeding Klopp and was quick to insist that he remains happy at Leverkusen, although he stopped short of issuing a flat-out denial.
“At the moment I’m really happy here, I’m enjoying my work,” he said. “Each day it’s a challenge & we are on a beautiful journey here in Leverkusen. To be honest, I am not in that moment to think about the next step. I am thinking about where I am right now.”
When asked directly if he would be willing to rule out a move to Liverpool at the end of the season, Alonso replied: “That’s a direct question! I don’t have a direct answer. I’m happy here right now, that’s for sure, and only thinking about Leverkusen.”
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