Reports - Liverpool set to closely monitor 23-year-old midfielder at the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Liverpool will reportedly closely monitor England midfielder Declan Rice’s performances during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

As per Football Insider, they have identified the West Ham United midfielder as a transfer target for next summer. However, they want to witness the midfielder’s performances in high-pressure situations against big sides. This is because the Hammers are unlikely to provide similar pressure at the club level.

Liverpool were interested in signing Rice in the summer of 2022 as well but were thrown off by the humongous £100 million price tag. West Ham manager David Moyes later claimed that the price tag would be around £150 million, making matters worse for the Reds.

The English midfielder’s contract with the Hammers expires in the summer of 2024, with the club having the option to extend it by one year. He has already rejected a new contract offer worth £200,000 per week.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admires Rice and is interested in signing him. Hence, the Reds could make an attempt to sign him next summer if they are impressed by his performances at the FIFA World Cup.

Rice, 23, has played 215 matches for West Ham, contributing 11 goals and 12 assists as a defensive midfielder.

The Merseysiders are also interested in signing Rice’s England teammate, Jude Bellingham. They are set to keep a close eye on both players at the FIFA World Cup.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk on his first FIFA World Cup appearance

Virgil van Dijk, though 30-year-old, will be making his first FIFA World Cup appearance this year with the Netherlands. Oranje failed to qualify for the 2018 edition of the tournament in Russia.

Speaking about how he feels about his first FIFA World Cup appearance, the Netherlands captain told FIFA:

“It’s amazing. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for so long. It was a huge disappointment to miss out of the last World Cup. It was a very difficult time for me and for all the Dutch people. So it feels amazing to finally be going to the World Cup. It’s a boyhood dream to represent your country in the World Cup.”

He added:

“In my case it’s extra special because I get to captain the team. I hope we can achieve something special.”

Van Dijk has been widely regarded as one of the world’s best defenders since he joined Liverpool from Southampton for £75 million in 2018. He has played 202 games for the club, helping them win numerous trophies.

The Netherlands will begin their World Cup campaign against Senegal today (November 21).

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