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Liverpool 'could offer Virgil van Dijk a new contract this summer

Liverpool could offer Virgil van Dijk a new contract in the summer that may make the Dutchman the best-paid defender in world football.

Van Dijk has been a critical part of Liverpool's success over the past two years that has seen them become European champions and taken them to the brink of winning their first league title since 1990.

The likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have all been rewarded for their efforts with new contracts and now it looks increasingly likely Van Dijk will be given the same treatment.

Sportsmail understands that no talks have taken place over a new deal for Van Dijk while the title charge remains in progress but the situation may well be revisited in the summer.

According to The Mirror, any new deal for Van Dijk could make him the highest-paid defender in world football.

It comes after talkSPORT earlier this month reported that the Reds will offer Van Dijk a deal worth in the region of £50million.

It has been claimed his weekly salary will be bumped up from £120,000 a week to £150,000 a week.

Van Dijk has made 37 appearances for the Reds across all competitions so far this season, playing every single minute in the Premier League and Champions League.

Liverpool announced on Thursday that they had made a pre-tax profit of £42m last year despite a record £223m investment on players.

Figures released on Thursday for the financial year to May 31, 2019 incorporate the purchases of Alisson Becker (£65m), Naby Keita (£52.75m), Fabinho (£43.7m) and Xherdan Shaqiri (£13m).

It also includes the increased costs of new contracts for 11 players, including captain Jordan Henderson, Firmino, Salah, Mane, Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold - who have all played a key role in helping Jurgen Klopp's champions-elect establish a 22-point lead at the top of the table.

Van Dijk is expected to join that list of players shortly but he is not the only one to be rewarded with a new contract after youngster Harvey Elliott penned new terms on Thursday.

Elliott turns 17 in April but Liverpool will wait until the season ends to rubber-stamp the deal, as that will allow the terms to run until the summer of 2023.

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