Southampton are hoping to reintegrate Virgil van Dijk into training when they return to England next week with Mauricio Pellegrino to tell his captain he’s not for sale.
Earlier today, Mailsport reported that Southampton that will target Kevin Wimmer if they lose Virgil van Dijk this summer.
While this could eventually be the case, Jeremy Wilson reports for the Telegraph that Saints plan on reintegrating van Dijk into training next week.
Currently on tour without their captain in France, Southampton “remain confident that Van Dijk will accept the situation.”
Wilson writes that Saints’ “new board of directors remain adamant that this will be the first summer since the departure of former chairman Nicola Cortese in 2014 in which they will not make major sales.”
In recent seasons, Southampton have sold the likes of Sadio Mané, Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana to Liverpool and the south coast club is determined to stop the steady flow of players to Merseyside.
The statement that Southampton is looking to make extends to any team seeking to sign their players as they look to assert themselves on the Premier League but have been unable to due to the fact that their best players have departed summer after summer.
Ryan Bertrand has been linked with a move to Manchester United and Chelsea but is not for sale either.
While no-one expects van Dijk to stay at Southampton past next summer, it is conceivable that the Dutchman is forced into staying one more season given that he still has five years left on a six-year contract.
Signing van Dijk is Liverpool’s highest priority and conversely, missing out on him is their worst nightmare.
Although starting the first few games of the 2017/18 Premier League season with Dejan Lovren isn’t the end of the world, Liverpool cannot afford to go the entire season without adding a new centre half of van Dijk’s calibre – of which many don’t exist.