Liverpool may just have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk as the south coast club could be forced to sell.
Matt Hughes of the Times may have just offered fans of Liverpool Football Club a slim glimmer of hope over Virgil van Dijk – a dangerous thing to hold onto.
According to Hughes, Southampton’s new Chinese owner Jisheng Gao will tell new manager Mauricio Pellegrino that he will have to sell players from his current squad if he wants to buy any new additions.
Hughes writes: “Gao’s backers are demanding a return on their investment and will not grant him a transfer budget so the club will continue to operate as it has done throughout the Liebherr family’s ownership.”
Southampton have so far remained adamant that van Dijk will not be sold this summer but with Pellegrino desperate to build a squad that thrives not only on their quality but unity as a team, could this mean that the club is forced to listen to offers for the player?
The Saints have been chasing centre back duo Kevin Wimmer and Wesley Hoedt for the last couple of weeks and if funding is what they require, then surely selling the £70m asset sitting in their reserves would not only take care of moves for the pair but for another player on top?
Chairman Ralph Krueger did deny that Southampton would consider offers for the centre back in an interview earlier this week before performing a bizarre U-turn just moments later, claiming: “I will tell you one thing – over the years we have spoken I don’t give definite answers where there isn’t a definite.”
Pellegrino refused to offer any new information in his press conference earlier this week, simply stating: “The Virgil situation nothing has changed. It is the same like last week. I don’t have anything to say.”