Southampton are said to be hopeful that van Dijk will change his mind on but Mauricio Pellegrino is still planning for life without the defender.
On the surface, this report from the Daily ECHO doesn’t really offer us anything new.
We know that Virgil van Dijk is still training alone and pressing for a move away from Southampton, preferably to Liverpool but that the club are likely to not soften their stance unless this carries on for another couple of weeks at least.
It’s become a fairly unusual situation due to the fact that while the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton and even AS Roma have all been linked with an attempt for the Dutchman’s signature, Liverpool are the only destination he has in mind.
While this would normally be a good thing, the club’s attempts to broker a deal are stuck in limbo until the Saints agree to sell. With no bids being made from other clubs due to their knowledge that the player only wants Liverpool, Southampton don’t exactly have anything to accept meaning that Liverpool cannot join in on any bidding war.
We’re told that this “lack of movement from any of his suitors,” has left Southampton “optimistic that van Dijk has come to the conclusion that he will have to accept the situation and prepare for another season at St Mary’s.”
Same old, same old really.
There is one very interesting line in the report though.
Manager Mauricio Pellegrino is said to have “been planning on life without him, either in the long or short term.”
Now, short term is down to the fact van Dijk will not start the season in Southampton’s back four due to his lack of pre-season so far and his need to continue his recovery from the injury he sustained last season. However, “long term” is what interests me.
The south coast club have been linked with Tottenham reserve centre back Kevin Wimmer in recent days and if Pellegrino is indeed looking at other alternatives, this could be a massive positive step in the right direction for Liverpool.
It’s likely that the Reds will have to continue the waiting game – at least for now – but if van Dijk holds fast on his stance up until August 12th when the Premier League season begins for Southampton, they could be forced to let him go.
The report claims Pellegrino will hold talks with van Dijk over the next week in the “hope of good news” and that is he “hears what he wants to hear” then the Dutchman will be reintegrated back into first-team training.
If he doesn’t, Liverpool better be ready.