As deadline day arrives, The Times indicate that there could be one final twist in one of this summer’s ongoing transfer sagas in the future of Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk. They believe that Liverpool could be prepared to spend as much as £70 million to bring the Dutch international to Anfield if the Saints reconsider their stance on the defender.
Only two weeks ago, Southampton chairman Ralph Kruger effectively ruled out a sale as he told the Daily Echo that despite submitting a transfer request, the club would not be forced to sell their star man:
“Virgil is not the only player that is involved in this he is part of the whole strategy of not selling. Nobody is for sale that we don’t want to sell and so he is not for sale in this window. We have said it more than once.”
However, the Belfast Telegraph believe that Van Dijk is still desperate to move to Anfield. He is reportedly particularly keen on a move to team up with Jurgen Klopp and work under the German. With Liverpool’s defence in a state of disarray at the best of times in 2016/17 and the start of 2017/18, he would rapidly become a key player for the club.
At £70 million, it is hard to see how the Saints could turn down such an offer. With Van Dijk currently training with the under 23s and not even involved in first team training, it is a tough stance to take as a matter of pride. However, it is one that Liverpool should know only too well given the situation with a key player of their own, Philippe Coutinho.
Yahoo Sport also claim that the situation has been made more difficult by the fact that the relationship between the two clubs is far from the best, having taken the likes of Sadio Mane, Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Ricky Lambert from the south coast to Merseyside in recent seasons. Some at Saint Mary’s are reportedly prepared to dig their heels in to avoid seeing yet another key player taken away by the Reds.
If common sense prevails, then Southampton would accept a bid of £70 million for a player currently rotting in the reserves having made it clear that he wants to leave the club. However, particularly on deadline day, there is a shortage of common sense in football and pride could come into play and prevent the Saints from selling before the 11pm deadline.