Virgil van Dijk does not believe missing out on Champions League football makes Liverpool any less attractive to potential new signings.
The last-gasp 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa all-but ended the club’s unlikely pursuit of a top-four place as they now require either Newcastle or Manchester United to lose both their remaining matches.
It is the remotest of possibilities but as transfer planning is well advanced and with Liverpool’s desired rejuvenation of their midfield no secret, Van Dijk insists players will not be deterred from joining even if they face the prospect of playing Europa League football.
“Obviously the chances to reach Champions League football were quite slim but now it makes it more difficult,” said the Netherlands captain.
“Pre-season will be massive. I’m very excited for next season. I think that feeling came a couple of months ago when we turned the page.
“Obviously there’s still a lot to work on but the good thing in this case is that we have the whole pre-season to work on this and that’s definitely the plan.
“The noises I’m hearing, it’s going to be a very intense pre-season with a lot of physical work but also a lot of tactical work trying to get ready for a tough season.
“Players are leaving, hopefully players come in and will be ready for the start of pre-season.
“Everybody knows we’ve been going through a little bit of a transition and, if I’m a player on the rise and I have options to go to the next step and Liverpool is knocking on my door, then I would be very interested.
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