Virgil van Dijk urged not to make the same mistake as Jordan Henderson

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk has been sent a significant warning following a reported proposal to become the highest-paid defender in football history.

Van Dijk, who made 48 appearances across all competitions last season, was instrumental in what turned out to be Jurgen Klopp's final season at Anfield, scoring four goals and providing two assists to help Liverpool secure the League Cup.

Now, the Dutch centre-back, currently representing his country at Euro 2024, is contemplating his future as his contract nears its end in June 2025.

Van Dijk approached by Al Nassr

According to Marca, Saudi Pro League side Al Nassr, determined to topple domestic rivals Al Hilal, have identified Van Dijk as a key target to bolster their squad, with negotiations also underway for Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

The same report says that the Saudi club’s general director met with Van Dijk’s representative on Tuesday night, presenting a deal that promises to eclipse the earnings of any other defender globally.

Despite boasting a squad featuring notable names like David Ospina, Álex Telles, Marcelo Brozovic, Otavio, Sadio Mané and Cristiano Ronaldo, Al Nassr has struggled to secure silverware, falling short in the Saudi Pro League, the Super Cup and the domestic cup, all dominated by Al Hilal.

The addition of Van Dijk is seen as crucial to strengthening their defensive line, currently anchored by Aymeric Laporte.

Jordan Henderson, a cautionary tale

However, in light of the alleged approach, two respected Dutch pundits have now urged Van Dijk to consider the broader implications of such a move.

Speaking in De Telegraaf's Kick-off EURO 2024 podcast, reporter Jeroen Kapteijns expressed concerns about the level in the Middle East and the long-term impact a move would have on Van Dijk’s career.

Kapteijns commented, “If he wants to have a few more zeros in the bank account, yes, but if he wants to continue playing football seriously, no.”

Jordan Henderson

SAFF Saudi Arabia KingÕs Cup 2023-24 Round 16 Jordan Henderson of Al Ettifaq FC during their Round 16 of the SAFF Saudi Arabia KingÕs Cup 2023-24 match between Al Nassr FC and Al Ettifaq FC at Al Awwal Park Stadium on October 31, 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Riyadh l Awwal Park Stadium Saudi Arabia PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxJPNxUK Copyright: xVictorxFrailex 2023.10.31_PSI03254.R16_VFR_02178

Valentijn Driessen, meanwhile, highlighted the cautionary tale of Jordan Henderson, who joined Al-Ettifaq last summer to work under Steven Gerrard.

“That is, of course, the man who always made an effort for LGBTQ people," said Driessen. "But once he saw those dollar signs appear in his eyes, he couldn't go to Saudi Arabia quickly enough."

However, six months later, Henderson returned to Europe, joining Ajax on a free transfer, having lost support from fans and missing out on the chance to represent England at Euro 2024.

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