Pundit claims he's been told Everton have no chance of competing with Liverpool for Virgil van Dijk

Southampton's Virgil van Dijk celebrates scoring their first goal

There would be no shortage of interest if Van Dijk was to decide to up sticks and leave the South Coast.

Micky Quinn believes Liverpool are firm favourites to sign Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk despite reported interest from Merseyside rivals Everton, the Liverpool Echo reports.

The Dutch international centre-half has developed into one of the most imposing players in the Premier League since arriving from Celtic to replace Tottenham-bound Toby Alderweireld in 2013, with his ability to dominate opponents in the air and desire to throw his body on the line complemented by excellent technical skills.

Southampton's Virgil van Dijk celebrates scoring their first goal

As a result, there has been no shortage of speculation suggesting Van Dijk will soon leave a club who have seen countless first-team players depart for purportedly bigger and brighter things in recent years, with The Mirror claiming that Everton and Liverpool are ready to fight it out for his £40 million-valued signature.

The presence of former Saints boss and Dutch legend Ronald Koeman on The Blue’s bench has been predicted by some as a potential key factor in enticing the towering centre-back to Goodison Park, but Quinn, a known Liverpool fan, doesn’t believe that is the case based on his own insider knowledge.

Everton manager Ronald Koeman before the match

"Don't worry about Ronald Koeman,” the former Newcastle United striker said in quotes reported by the Liverpool Echo.

“Liverpool will blow [Everton] out of the water. That's what I've been told, anyway."

Jurgen Klopp will be more than aware that his side’s leaky defence could eventually undermine Liverpool hopes of lifting a first ever Premier League title, with Van Dijk the sort of commanding presence The Reds have missed in their backline since the halcyon days of Sami Hyypia.

Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez in action with Southampton's Oriol Romeu and Virgil van Dijk

Therefore, it would be no surprise if they were to return to one of their favoured hunting grounds in order to add Van Dijk to their legion of former Southampton stars.

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