Virgil van Dijk has been spotted training in the adidas COPA 19.1 this week, adding further speculation that his contract with Nike is up. The Liverpool defender switched into the next on-pitch colourway of the new-generation boot just weeks after he trained in an unreleased PUMA project.

With his contract seemingly expired with Nike, van Dijk appears to be keeping his options open with regards to what he’ll be wearing next. Back in November, the big Dutchman was seen wearing a mystery blacked out pair of next-generation boots that have since been confirmed as the imminent PUMA Future 19.1. This led to rampant speculation that it was a done deal and that he’d be joining fellow Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren in making the switch to the brand. But now it looks as if adidas have made a late move for a defender who is quickly building a reputation as one of the best in the world.

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The fact that van Dijk has opted for an actual colourway of an adidas boot, and not a blackout, does suggest that he is currently a free agent – his contract with Nike would have prevented him wearing a direct competitors logo. The new COPA 19.1 colourway combines a core black look with volt across the collar and flashing through the soleplate as adidas prepare to drop their first on-pitch collection of 2019.

As for van Dijk’s choices, it isn’t necessarily just a case of him picking between PUMA and adidas, as the Dutchman was still wearing Nike Tiempos when Liverpool fell to their first league defeat of the season against Manchester City last week. Re-signing with the Swoosh is still a viable option and should not be discounted. The ball is firmly in the court of the big man.

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If the rumours are true that his contract is up – and all evidence points to that conclusion – then van Dijk will be one of the most sought-after free agents around. Currently heralded as one of the best defenders in the game, his signature would be a massive asset to whoever eventually captures it. For now, it looks like he's happy to play the field.