Liverpool set to negotiate Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho contracts ‘in March’

Liverpool are planning to open contract talks with Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho in March, according to reports.

Both players arrived at Anfield in 2018, with Van Dijk becoming the most expensive defender in world football at the time of his £75million move in January.

Fabinho completed a £39million switch from Monaco the following summer and has proved equally influential in the Reds’ recent Premier League and Champions League success.

The Brazilian and Van Dijk both have two-and-a-half years remaining on their contracts, but journalist Fabrizio Romano claims Liverpool are keen to negotiate extensions with the pair in March.

Speaking on the Here We Go podcast, Romano claimed Reds chiefs are planning to speak with Van Dijk and his agents as soon as he recovers from his ACL injury.

The Dutchman faces a battle to play again this season after sustaining the problem in last month’s 2-2 draw away at Everton, with Jordan Pickford’s heavy challenge forcing him to undergo surgery.

It is believed Liverpool will therefore put his new contract discussions to one side until March, as is the case with Fabinho.

The latter has also spent time on the sidelines recently with a hamstring injury, having been made to fill in as a makeshift centre-back in Van Dijk’s absence last month.

He could be fit in time for Liverpool’s crunch clash with Leicester after the international break, which would come as a huge relief to Jurgen Klopp given Joe Gomez has also sustained a knee problem.

Gomez picked up the injury while on international duty with England and has undergone surgery, but it is currently unclear how long he will spend out.

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If Fabinho doesn’t recover in time for next week’s showdown with Leicester, Klopp may have to deploy youngster Nat Phillips again at the heart of his defence.

Phillips, 23, was given his full Liverpool debut in their 2-1 win over West Ham at Anfield on October 31.

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