Liverpool could look to sign as many as three players from Southampton this summer in order when Jurgen Klopp attempts to improve his squad in the summer transfer window, according to former defender Phil Thompson. The Reds face the Saints on Sunday [7 May] in a pivotal game in their attempts to qualify for the Champions League, but Klopp could have his eyes on a clutch of the visitors' squad.
Five players have swapped St Mary's for Anfield in the last three summer transfer windows, with Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Sadio Mane, Nathaniel Clyne and Rickie Lambert all moving to the red half of Merseyside. Claude Puel has staged a fine rebuild this season, following Ronald Koeman's exit, with a top half finish still up for grabs.
But with Liverpool having only staged a passing challenge for the title this season – and their Champions League place far from secure – the club have been urged to improve their squad once again. Thompson believes Virgil van Dijk and Ryan Bertrand – who have both been linked with moves to the club – and Oriol Romeu are among the contenders to become the latest players to be seduced by the five-time European champions.
"I'd straight away say Van Dijk, who I have always rated," he told Sky Sports."The way he plays the game would make him a perfect fit for a Klopp team. There's always been an affiliation with Dutch players at Liverpool. I remember the 60s when we first played against Johan Cruyff's Ajax and we were left in awe.
"Bertrand is another one who would improve us. James Milner has been nothing short of fantastic but he's not a natural left-back and it's hard to see any sort of future for Alberto Moreno at the club. Bertrand is a good defender and he times his movement going forward particularly well.
"There might be a bit of interest as well in Romeu, who has had an excellent season and does exactly what it says on the tin. He's a destroyer; he's got a great attitude and passes the ball very well. If Southampton were interested in cashing in then he'd offer us something we don't really have at the moment."
The Daily Telegraph understand Van Dijk and Bertrand are both interested in leaving Southampton this summer amid uncertainty over the future of manager Puel, with Liverpool and Chelsea interested in the pair. Netherlands international Van Dijk has long been linked with a £50m move to the club having emerged as one of the best all-round defenders in the top flight.