Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is reportedly eager to cut a deal for Besiktas defender and Croatia World Cup hero Domagoj Vida. The centre-half would join his Croatia team-mate Dejan Lovren at Anfield.
The Reds were linked with Vida prior to his tide-turning display in Croatia's penalty-shootout win over hosts Russia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Saturday. Turkish newspaper Aksam (h/t Mirror) reported Klopp has been more encouraged to make a £12 million swoop after that display.
Former Dynamo Kiev defender Vida, 29, courted controversy when a video was posted after Saturday's win showing him chanting "Glory to Ukraine." The song supports the Ukrainian army as opposed to Russian territorial claims on the region, earning Vida a warning from FIFA, per the Associated Press (h/t Sky Sports).
Before scoring in the shootout that booked them a spot opposite England in the World Cup semi-finals, Vida initially headed Croatia into an extra-time lead, via ITV:
U.S. audiences could see the effort too, via Fox Sports:
Vida spent five years in Ukraine's capital before moving to Besiktas in January this year, and his spike in performances in Russia have served as the ideal advertisement of his talents.
Emre Sarigul of Turkish-Football.com detailed how lucrative his displays could be to his Super Lig employers, who stand to make a nice profit if they decide to sell:
Klopp's defence last season was affected by the injury troubles of Joel Matip, who missed 23 games through injury, per Transfermarkt, although the January purchase of Virgil van Dijk gave them a world-class presence at centre-back.
That likely means Vida could compete with compatriot Lovren for the chance to start alongside the Dutchman, and Sarigul also touched on Everton's interest in the player prior to his impressive outing on Saturday:
Turkish Football @Turkish_Futbol1
Latest - Reports in Turkey claim Liverpool bid £13m for Domagoj Vida. Klopp reportedly impressed with him so far at the World Cup. I haven't heard anything concrete about LFC link. Everton have a genuine interest but Yerry Mina is their priority https://t.co/kEOEESN3rS
The prospect of joining Liverpool looks more tantalising now than it has in some years following the summer arrivals of players such as Fabinho and Naby Keita, and Vida has spoken of his desire to not settle for second-best, via Omnisport:
At 29, Vida doesn't yield much in resale value and could be benefiting from a World Cup upturn in form. It was only in February that his 16th-minute sending off in a UEFA Champions League clash with Bayern Munich helped Besiktas on their way out of the tournament.
Klopp's urge to sign him looks smart on paper, although there could be younger, more sensible ways to invest in a centre-back who looks likely to serve in a rotation role.