Liverpool Target Van Dijk Reiterates Desire to Leave Southampton After Extensive Internal Talks
Virgil Van Dijk has refused to budge in his stance to join Liverpool despite Southampton's best attempts to keep him at the club.
The centre-back held discussions with the Saints' hierarchy as manager Manuel Pellegrino hoped to covince Van Dijk to continue his career on the south coast.
However, according to the Liverpool Echo Van Dijk reiterated his desire to depart and head north to join the Reds and Pellegrino must now make a huge decision on his wantaway star's future just 10 days ahead of the new season.
The Spaniard has already told Van Dijk to continue training away from the rest of Southampton's first-team squad, but he must come to a decision over retaining a player who won't feature under him while the 26-year-old remains steadfast over his desire to leave or opt to sell him for around £60m.
Van Dijk recently missed Southampton's pre-season trip to France as the continue preparations ahead of their curtain raiser against Swansea City on 12th August, and is not expected to play as his future continues to be speculated about.
Liverpool had appeared to miss their chance to secure his signature after Southampton threatened to inform the Football Association of an apparent illegal approach for their club captain from the Anfield-based side.
That threat resulted in Jurgen Klopp's men walking away from a potential deal, but Van Dijk's insistence that he should be allowed to move to Merseyside has given the German fresh hope in his pursuit of defensive reinforcements.
Southampton have run the rule over £12m-rated Lazio centre-half Wesley Hoedt as a replacement for Van Dijk in recent days and his possible arrival at St.Mary's would pave the way for tthe ex-Celtic man to depart.
Van Dijk has not featured for Southampton since he suffered an ankle injury during a Premier League victory over Leicester City at the end of January, but has gone on to amass 68 appearances in all competitions for them since his move from Scotland.