Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler is unsure whether Jurgen Klopp's men will be able to push through a deal for Southampton wantaway Virgil van Dijk and thinks Chelsea and Manchester City may attempt to swoop in and capture the Saints captain from under the Reds' nose.
Van Dijk saw fit to submit a transfer request on Monday (7 August) after being left frustrated by Southampton's stance over his future. The Holland international revealed that he was "insulted" by the south coast outfit's decision to fine him and is annoyed that offers from a number of top clubs interested in his services have been consistently rebuffed.
Many expected Liverpool to quickly press on with a deal for Van Dijk after news of his transfer request surfaced, but Klopp's men will only reignite their interest in the former Celtic star if Mauricio Pellegrino's side make it clear that they are open to offers.
Fowler, who scored 183 goals over two spells with the Anfield club, thinks Van Dijk's recent actions may act as a "catalyst" for a transfer but can see the likes of Chelsea and City rivaling his former side for the highly-rated defender. Van Dijk's desire to work with Klopp is well-known, but Chelsea are confident that they can convince the 26-year-old that his future lies at Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool publicly ended their interest in Van Dijk and apologised to Southampton over their alleged illegal approach earlier this summer, and Fowler is concerned that the sorry episode may have scuppered a move entirely.
"It was obvious that Liverpool were in for him but I'm not sure what will happen now," Fowler told the Liverpool Echo. "It wouldn't surprise me if another couple of clubs came in for him, the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City.
"I don't think it's plain sailing for Liverpool. In the early days it was us who were courting him and it looked like he was going to come but it's been quiet for a good few weeks and the transfer request might prove a catalyst for others to enter the fray.
"I think he's a great player and we're trying to compete on a number of fronts this season including the Champions League so it's important that the squad is right and we strengthen.
"He'd be a fantastic addition but until there comes a point that the club come out and say they've got him, I think it's a little bit raw talking about him given what happened with him and Liverpool earlier in the summer."