Liverpool’s club record signing Virgil van Dijk insists he can handle the scrutiny of being the world’s most expensive defender.
The Dutch centre-back signed for the Reds a month ago after a £75m move from Southampton and has been viewed as the answer to Jurgen Klopp’s defensive problems.
While he has only played four matches, van Dijk is still far from his best after missing much of last year due to an ankle injury. However, he insists he can cope with the pressure of his hefty price tag.
“I can’t do anything about the fee so it is pretty easy for me. I am pretty calm on that,” he said.
“You are always going to have that but the most important thing is what happens at Melwood and what happens here with the people who care about the team.
“Other people around – fans of other clubs, pundits – they can have their opinions, but it doesn’t really bother me.
“So you need time to get used to everything but I am working on it every day together with the team.”
Klopp claimed it will be until next season before van Dijk is back to his towering best as he needs to adapt to playing a different style of football.
And van Dijk added: “I know because I made such a big step right now, for a lot of money, everything is going to be analysed.
“No-one is going to look at the good things that you do. Everybody is going to watch the bad things and that’s how it is.
“But I will discuss it with the people who want to make me better, who can make me better, that is the manager and the players around me. If they think it is right then that is the way forward.
“I am talking with the manager and everyone who can help me out. I want to improve and get the maximum out of myself and that is what I am going to do.”
The Dutchman can expect a hostile reception when he returns to his former club for the first time this Sunday as Liverpool take on Southampton at St. Mary’s.
“Maybe they can boo the whole game. What can you do about it? You can’t do anything. I made the decision, I have enjoyed every bit of it and I am very grateful for everything that they [Southampton] did for me. I have moved on, they have moved on,” he said.
The paper says the club are keen to keep the midfielder, who is in top form and has 18 months left on his current arrangement.
But Arsene Wenger has already admitted other players will want parity with the £350,000-a-week three-year deal for Ozil, the paper adds.
The Blues fear Courtois, who has one season left on his current deal, will see out his contract or get snapped up by Real Madrid, the paper says, and Hart is in the frame to step in after his loan to West Ham ends.
Newcastle are set to revive their interest in Danish international Nicolai Jorgensen in the summer, according to the Daily Star.
He is said to be a target for Rafa Benitez to help beef up the Toon attack, but the club failed to match Feyenoord’s £20m valuation last month and brought in Leicester’s Islam Slimani on loan until the end of the season.
However, Benitez still sees Jorgensen as a long-term solution to Newcastle’s goal-scoring problems, the paper says.
The Daily Mirror says reports in France claim the Ligue 1 leaders are preparing a shock swoop for the Spanish striker, who has impressed after his switch to Stamford Bridge from Real Madrid last year.
David Moyes is unlikely to extend his stay at West Ham past the end of the season, according to the Daily Telegraph, even if the club avoid relegation.
The paper says the club are already expected to be searching for a new permanent manager in the summer, with the side’s 3-1 defeat to Brighton putting them back in relegation danger.
If Moyes does keep West Ham in the Premier League he may well have options elsewhere, the paper adds, but if not there is little chance of them keeping him on.
The January transfer window may be shut but there’s still plenty of news from the rumour mill with several moves being put off until the summer.
Here, we round-up the transfer tales that have got everyone talking on Tuesday.
Arsenal and Tottenham face competition from China for Bordeaux wonderkid Malcom, according to Telefoot.
Bordeaux are believed to be looking for more than £55m – a fee Arsenal and Tottenham are reportedly unwilling to pay.
Malcom has been one of the mainstays in a struggling Bordeaux side this season, scoring eight goals and providing five assists in 21 games.
Although his club are currently eighth in Ligue 1, Malcom has been taking the league by storm with his glittering footwork and passing ability.
As Arsenal and Tottenham looks to strengthen his squad for next season, the young Brazilian could inject more class in an already star-studded attack.
Although £55 million is an expensive asking price, both clubs believe a fee of £33 million could be enough to get the deal over the line.
Liverpool and Arsenal have agreed to meet the £28 million release clause of Hoffenheim star Kerem Demirbay, reports Sport Bild.
The 24-year-old midfielder is a man in demand and two of Premier League’s elite are battling it out to secure his signature this summer.
Despite widespread reports that Bayern Munich have already secured a deal with Demirbay – who only signed a new contract last season – Arsenal and Liverpool are ready to nip in and agree a deal with the German international.
Demirbay is one of the new stars of German football and could be a key man for Joachim Low’s side during this summer’s World Cup.
With Hoffenheim struggling at present, the 24-year-old could opt to pursue a new challenge in Premier League instead as Liverpool and Arsenal look for a midfielder capable of pulling the strings for years to come.