By 90Min
November 15, 2017

Defender Virgil van Dijk will be 100% focused ahead of Southampton's trip to Liverpool on Saturday, according to manager Mauricio Pellegrino.

Southampton centre back Van Dijk was the subject of a long-running transfer saga during the summer, as Liverpool looked to secure the Dutchman's services to shore up their back line.

Van Dijk made it clear that he wanted the move to go ahead and even handed in a transfer request, but a complaint from Southampton over Liverpool's courtship led to Liverpool (at least publicly) ending their interest and issuing an apology for "any misunderstanding".

After the unsettling saga, van Dijk was absent from Southampton's opening four Premier League games of the season, before returning in the 1-0 win at Crystal Palace.

Pellegrino, however, does not believe that facing against the team he came close to playing for with be a distraction for van Dijk.

He told Sky Sports: "I don't think it will be difficult because Virgil knows he is focused 100 per cent on our team and is training well.

"He wants to improve his performances because obviously he was injured in (January) and then he didn't play any games."

Going on to discuss the nature of the transfer market, Pellegrino said: "Obviously we cannot control the market and every single transfer window clubs are looking to buy our players.

"Football today is a big business - and we have to understand this. Now clubs are fighting in the market to find the best player and we have a lot of good players - it's part of our job.

Southampton go into the game at Anfield 13th in the league with 13 points from their opening eleven, six points behind fifth-placed Liverpool.

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