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Vn Dijk on collision course with Klopp over Liverpool star’s summer plans

Virgil van Dijk is on a collision course with Kop boss Jurgen Klopp over the Euros.

Klopp insists he wants defensive rock van Dijk to focus on a full pre-season with Liverpool before kick-starting his career again after a career-threatening anterior cruciate knee injury against Everton last October.

But five months into his recovery, sources in Holland say the strong-willed Dutch defender has targeted the delayed Euros for a comeback – and has far from given up on playing at the tournament which begins in June.

Holland boss Frank de Boer has assured van Dijk he’ll save a place in his squad for the defender after being told by the 29-year-old star the Euros are still on his agenda.

Although van Dijk is running again and has stepped up his rehab, Klopp and his medical team are said to be horrified he might play at the Euros before he’s played for Liverpool.

Klopp is already on record claiming it’s “unlikely” van Dijk could figure before the start of next season due after such a serious injury.

Van Dijk hasn’t played since October

But Erwin Koeman, brother of Barcelona boss Ronald, is convinced van Dijk will want to play for his country in the summer.

Koeman worked with van Dijk while a coach at Southampton alongside his brother and he says: “Knowing Virgil I can fully imagine how he sees this issue.

“I ruptured my ligaments before the 1990 World Cup in Italy but I really wanted to go to the tournament.

“I joined the team in a late stage and I had to to extra tests to prove I was fit enough to play but I proved that I was fit.

“As a player you don’t want to miss a World Cup or the Euros. You want to play there at any costs.

“Sometimes against common sense, but it would help if he can play a game for Liverpool before June.”

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But former Wales and Holland assistant Raymond Verheijen, a recovery specialist, says an early return is a major risk.

“As soon as he is back on the pitch for Liverpool the door will be open to the Euros.

“If he has zero minutes it will mean that after a long and careful recovery at Liverpool he will suddenly be exposed to something different with Holland – and that always brings risks.

“Virgil will have to weigh up everything by that time and make sure he makes the right decision.”

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