Liverpool dealt blow in pursuit of Van Dijk successor

Tom Weber
Tom Weber
  • Updated: 11 Dec 2023 17:07 GMT
  • 3 min read
Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool
© ProShots

Bournemouth are ready to break the bank to tie sought-after defender Lloyd Kelly down to a new deal, according to a report.

The 25-year-old is one of the Premier League's most attractive defensive options because he is currently on an expiring contract. His deal with Bournemouth is up at the end of the season and this has pushed him onto the radar of elite clubs looking for reinforcements.

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Among his suitors are said to be Liverpool and Tottenham, both of whom are long-time admirers and both of whom are in desperate need of another centre-back. The Reds are in the market for a long-term successor to captain Virgil van Dijk and have lost veteran defender Joel Matip to a season-ending ACL injury, while Spurs' dearth of defensive options has at times been brutally exposed this season.

Kelly's Premier League experience, impressive performances and versatility - being able to also play at left-back - have seen him become a sought-after commodity, but the efforts of his big-name suitors could be thwarted by the Cherries.

Lloyd Kelly
© ProShots - Lloyd Kelly

Record deal offered

That is because Bournemouth have offered the 25-year-old a club-record contract, according to TEAMtalk. It is asserted that the Cherries are ready to break the bank to make Kelly their highest-paid player in a bid to fend off interest.

Kelly is said to be in no rush to make a decision, with the player currently nursing an injury. Bournemouth view Kelly as vital to their hopes of remaining in the Premier League, but their impressive recent form, even without him, may perhaps soften their stance.

Some of his more desperate suitors could attempt to sign him already in January and while Andoni Iraola will be reluctant to let his star defender walk, the knowledge that his side is capable of getting results, such as the recent 3-0 beatdown of Man Utd at Old Trafford, in his absence could tempt them into cashing in on him should he refrain from committing his future to the club before the transfer window opens.

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