Liverpool will make a fresh approach to sign Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk in January or next summer, according to former Manchester City and West Ham United defender Stuart Pearce.

Earlier in June, the Dutch international was all but set to complete a switch to Anfield. However, the deal collapsed after the Saints reported the Merseyside club to the Premier League for an alleged illegal approach, which forced Jurgen Klopp's side to issue a public apology.

Van Dijk continued to be linked with a move to Liverpool and even handed in a transfer request in order to force a move away from St Mary's Stadium. However, Southampton were adamant about not letting the 26-year-old leave the club in the last transfer window.

Despite Liverpool's failure in signing the Southampton centre-back, Pearce is confident that the former Borussia Dortmund manager will land Van Dijk before the end of the next summer transfer window.

"I think Klopp has tried to bring Van Dijk in and I think that will happen – if not in January, maybe next summer. That is someone they have earmarked, but for whatever reason, that hasn't happened this summer," Pearce told Yahoo Sport.

"Sometimes you go into the transfer market and, for whatever reason, you can't get what you want. Everyone is vying for the best players and if you can get them, all well and good. But there is always someone who has more financial clout than you have."

Liverpool's failure to land Van Dijk did not force them to bring in another player in that position. In addition to this, Klopp allowed Mamadou Sakho to join Crystal Palace on a permanent deal.

This has left the German manager with just Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan as the recognised central defenders in the squad.

Klopp has seen his side already concede 12 goals in seven league matches so far. Pearce, who heaped praise on Liverpool's attack, has raised question marks over the Reds' defensive unit.

"Yes. There have been question marks over the goalkeeper and question marks about the central defence partnership. When you look through their team, they have such talent going forward and in the forward areas, that it is probably the defensive unit you worry about," the former England captain said.

Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk was wanted by Liverpool in the summer transfer window Getty