Manchester City have been told that they should be looking to sign Liverpool centre-half Virgil van Dijk at any cost, with Stan Collymore suggesting that Pep Guardiola could offer “John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi plus £150 million ($197m)”.
Such a bid would double the transfer fee the Reds paid to land the Dutchman in January 2018 which already has him as the most expensive defender in world football.
Collymore believes that outlay would be worth it as the reigning Premier League champions would be acquiring a player who can become the best on the planet in his chosen position.
The former Liverpool striker also believes that Van Dijk has the potential to rise above Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos in the global pecking order by the time he hangs up his boots, with the 27-year-old precisely the kind of talent that can make City even more dominant.
“I know Pep Guardiola has said he’ll prioritise a full-back and a defensive midfielder in the summer,” Collymore wrote in the Mirror.
“But if I was him the first person I’d be targeting is Virgil van Dijk.
“I’d offer John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi plus £150 million for the Dutchman and I wouldn’t stop until Liverpool accepted my offer was simply too good to turn down.
“I know Jurgen Klopp has a long-term contract at Anfield and that if Liverpool don’t win the Premier League, they will finish probably finish second and won’t want to be selling their best players. Especially not to their rivals.
“But Van Dijk is one of those incredibly gifted athletes and would make any defence on Planet Earth significantly better. And if City want to become the dominant force they say they want to, then going all out for him would be a no-brainer.
"I go back to Celtic fans saying, ‘This guy is the real deal, he’s a Rolls-Royce’, because having watched Henrik Larsson in recent seasons, they know what players of that calibre look like.
"Van Dijk has to be worth at least £175m of anybody’s money and, while it’s easy to throw around statements such as ‘best in the world’, I really believe he is."
Liverpool tied Van Dijk to a contract through to 2023 when snapping him up from Southampton and have offered no indication that he would be willing to listen to any offers for a prized asset – even those which would bring in two alternative options and a record-breaking sum of cash.