Virgil van Dijk: Potential destinations if Dutchman leaves Liverpool

  • Virgil van Dijk's Liverpool future was thrown into doubt by recent comments
  • Contract expires in the summer of 2025
  • Real Madrid have already started monitoring the situation

There is speculation about Van Dijk's future
There is speculation about Van Dijk's future / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

The scheduled departure of Jurgen Klopp and the comments that followed from Virgil van Dijk have cast some serious doubt over the Dutchman's long-term future at Liverpool.

In the first game after Klopp's announced he will leave at the end of the season, Van Dijk spoke to the press and, naturally, was asked if the departure affects his will to stay with Liverpool. His response was open-ended enough to make people think that a summer move is far from impossible.

"That’s a big question. Well, I don't know," the Dutchman replied. His contract, like some other key players, will be up in June 2025. This fact was put to him and he added further fuel to the flames by saying: "That is correct - good maths! Listen, I don't know.

"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 and 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 much about it."

Those comments do not mean he is leaving imminently and the defender and Klopp refuted the perceived meaning, but it's more than enough to spark speculation over where he could go. Here are some clubs that would surely be in the frame were Van Dijk available in the summer.

Real Madrid

Virgil van Dijk
Van Dijk could do worse than a move to Real Madrid / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

It was reported by Defensa Central soon after Van Dijk's future was thrown into doubt that Real Madrid would be more than willing to provide a landing spot for the Dutchman. They are one of few clubs in the world that would presumably interest Van Dijk, and be able to cough up the sort of salary that he would demand.

Real Madrid are not currently swimming in central defenders thanks to injuries. Eder Militao, David Alaba, Antonio Rudiger and Nacho Fernandez are the senior centre-backs at the club, none of whom are expected to leave in the immediate future.

It may be that Nacho is moved on in order to make room for Van Dijk, but a prominent player could be left on the bench each week given Real Madrid always play with only two centre-backs. This might be more opportunistic for the Spanish side should it happen, rather than addressing a genuine gap.

It would really hurt Liverpool fans to see Van Dijk wearing the shirt of a team that has beaten them twice in recent Champions League finals.

Paris Saint-Germain

Virgil van Dijk
Van Dijk would be a leading figure at PSG / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

There have been multiple instances over the past few years of Paris Saint-Germain trying to sign Van Dijk, but the defender always wanted to stay at Liverpool. Regardless of that, you can never really rule PSG out when a prominent player potentially becomes available.

They would have the money to sign him and pay him, and even though they do seem to have pitched towards younger players in recent transfer windows, Van Dijk would undoubtedly improve the team. Milan Skriniar has not been as good as they might have hoped since arriving from Inter and now also has a long-term injury, whilst Presnel Kimpembe and Marquinhos are also slightly below Van Dijk.

With a couple of outgoings, there would be space for Van Dijk in Paris and he would certainly be a starter, at least for a couple of seasons.


Virgil Van Dijk
Van Dijk might fancy a stint at Barcelona / Visionhaus/GettyImages

This certainly seems a lot tougher from a financial perspective, but you can bet they're doing a few sums as we speak. Barcelona will never completely let this sort of opportunity pass, and there are reasons to think that Van Dijk would entertain this move.

Speaking to Gary Neville on The Overlap back in 2022 about his favourite away stadium to play in, he revealed: "I would say Camp Nou, Barcelona. Obviously, for myself, watching a lot of Barcelona games when I was younger and then being able to play in it [was amazing]." He also named Ronaldinho as his footballing idol in the same interview, saying: "It's just the way that he was, especially after the second season that he joined Barcelona."

The likes of Ronald Araujo, Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen are all good defenders, but they aren't Van Dijk. He would be the leader in the team and wouldn't have to force his way in. The finances make it less likely than a PSG or Real Madrid move, but it might be the one he would prefer.


Virgil Van Dijk, Nicolas Jackson
Van Dijk could line up against Liverpool / Robin Jones/GettyImages

Much like Barcelona, you can't really exclude Chelsea from this sort of situation. Even if it seems like it'll never happen, they are going to have to replace Thiago Silva at some point. They've got a lot of centre-backs, but as they've shown with almost every position over the past couple of years, there's always room for one more.

Defenders like Trevoh Chalobah, Malang Sarr and Benoit Badiashile could all be gone in the summer, leaving Axel Disasi and Levi Colwill as players that Mauricio Pochettino clearly rates. Wesley Fofana is also still at the club and trying to get fit.

Were Thiago Silva to call time, there is a group of talented young defenders that could benefit a lot from someone like Van Dijk. The main catch here is that Chelsea are finding their wage bill hard to manage, and Van Dijk might not fancy joining a Premier League team and facing Liverpool.

Saudi Pro League

Virgil Van Dijk, Alex Oxlade-chamberlain, Jordan Henderson - Soccer Player
Jordan Henderson may have some advice for Van Dijk / Visionhaus/GettyImages

The elephant in the room here is the Saudi Pro League. It seems too early in Van Dijk's career to be leaving Europe, but perhaps he'll leave on a free in 2025. He'd be 34 years old by then.

Any of the top sides in Saudi Arabia would have the money and the willingness to sign Van Dijk, but Jordan Henderson's cautionary experience may have been enough to put him off. The appeal will of course be the big pay day at the backend of his career, but a fresh challenge in Europe is certainly more plausible at this stage.