Virgil van Dijk tells Liverpool he prefers move to Anfield - sources

Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk has indicated to Liverpool that they are his preferred destination in the summer, sources have told ESPN FC.

A fee is yet to be agreed between the two clubs, but the player is keen on moving to Liverpool rather than Manchester City or Chelsea, the source added.

Liverpool now appear to have won the race to sign the centre-half, who was also near the top of Chelsea and City's wishlists.

On Sunday, sources told ESPN FC that Liverpool were willing to match the wages their rivals were offering Van Dijk, although personal terms are yet to be agreed.

However, sources said City decided to pull out of the race to sign him after learning of Southampton's £60 million valuation, deemed too high for a player with no Champions League experience.

Liverpool will now attempt to reach an agreement with Southampton for the transfer of the Netherlands international -- a fee that could exceed £50m and break Liverpool's transfer record.

Van Dijk signed a six-year contract with Southampton in May 2016, and chairman Ralph Krueger said recently that the club could realistically turn down £60m for him.

Klopp is very keen to add a top-quality central defender this summer and earmarked Van Dijk as a prime target.

Liverpool declined to comment on Van Dijk's situation when contacted by ESPN FC.

Meanwhile, the Reds remain interested in signing Roma winger Mohamed Salah, although no further progress has been made in their pursuit, sources have told ESPN FC.

Roma and Liverpool have not agreed a fee for the transfer of Salah and no talks have taken place since last week.

Sources said Liverpool would look for alternatives should a move for Salah fail to materialise, with Lazio's Keita Balde Diao under consideration.

ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent, Jonathan Smith, contributed to this report.