Virgil van Dijk seals Liverpool pay rise thanks to Harry Maguire’s move to Man Utd

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Virgil van Dijk is the best central defender in world football right now.

The talismanic Dutchman has been outstanding for Liverpool since completing his £75 million move from Southampton in January 2018, exceeding all expectations in the process.

Everyone knew he was good, but few people knew he was *this* good. Jurgen Klopp was one of them, though, hence why he was so determined to bring him to Anfield.

Van Dijk beat Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the prestigious UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award last month and is the current favourite to win the even more prestigious Ballon d’Or later this year.

He could get into any team on the planet right now - but it seems the 28-year-old has committed his long-term future to the Reds.

The Mirror, via their sources from the Netherlands, are reporting that Van Dijk has agreed a new six-year contract with Liverpool.

His current deal was not due to expire until 2023 but he will now be tied to the Merseyside outfit until 2025.

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The Mirror claim that Van Dijk’s improved contract is down to the ‘£69 million benchmark set by Manchester United signing Harry Maguire’.

Maguire, who overtook Van Dijk as the most expensive defender of all time after joining United in a record-breaking £80 million move from Leicester City in the summer, is reportedly earning £190,000-a-week at Old Trafford.

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This is significantly more than the £125,000-a-week basically salary that Van Dijk is currently on at Liverpool.

Van Dijk’s representatives were subsequently given a target for what they needed, the Mirror understand, and the player will now earn nearer to £200,000-a-week at Anfield.

His existing deal includes plenty of bonus clauses - with add-ons for clean sheets and appearances - but his new contract will guarantee him an improved basic salary with less dependancy the additional payments than before.

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A richly deserved pay increase, Liverpool fans will all agree.

Tying him down for the next six years - the peak years of his career - is obviously a huge coup for the Reds.

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