Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has claimed that long-term Liverpool target Virgil van Dijk will not play for Southampton again, and should have been sold this summer, as reported by the Express.
Liverpool have been favourites to sign the Dutch international throughout the summer, but the Reds were obliged to withdraw their interest after the Saints accused the Merseyside club of tapping up the 26-year-old.
Despite the fact that the Breda-born star handed in a transfer request and reportedly voiced his ambitions to play under Jurgen Klopp, Southampton refused all advances for their captain this summer.
However, former England international Paul Merson has claimed that Southampton should have taken the money for the imposing centre-back and has predicted that the former Celtic man won’t appear for the Hampshire-based club again.
Reports suggested Liverpool were prepared to cough-up up to £70m to secure Van Dijk’s services, but a deal for the Dutchman never materialised.
Merson told Sky Sports; "People will look at Southampton and say they've kept Virgil van Dijk, but I honestly don't think he will play.
"They have kept an unhappy player and after everything that has gone on there I'd be shocked if he gets back in the team.
"I think they will get rid of him in January when someone will pay silly money.
"They've bought him for little money, so why not go and make a massive profit? They were just determined not to let Liverpool have him."
Van Dijk has been sidelined through injury since January, but is now fit to play. His current contract with the Saints runs until June 2022.