Manager replies when asked if top 26-year-old could sign for Liverpool
Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino gives the latest update on Virgil van Dijk's future amid reported interest from Chelsea and Liverpool
Mauricio Pellegrino has insisted that he is hopeful Virgil van Dijk will be able to change his attitude and stay at Southampton beyond the summer transfer window.
The 26-year-old defender has been heavily linked with a move away from St Mary’s this summer as the speculation about his future continues.
Liverpool were thought to be close to tying up a deal to sign the Netherlands defender earlier in the summer, only for the Reds to withdraw their interest after Southampton accused them of an alleged illegal approach.
However, Liverpool continue to be linked with a possible move for Van Dijk, while Chelsea have also been credited with an interest in the player.
Matters got yet more complicated for Southampton last week when Van Dijk indicated his desire to leave the club by handing in an official transfer request.
However, Saints boss Pellegrino is still hopeful that the player will be able to get into the right frame of mind at St Mary’s.
Pellegrino told Sky Sports: “When you are outside the team you have to be behind them, supporting them.
“Hopefully he can change his point of view to be with us in the next few weeks. I’ve talked with him twice, and the club was clear with him.
“I think all of us at the club, the technical director, me as a manager, we know that Virgil is an important part of the club.
“But we need him in another way, not like the way he is right now.”
Liverpool began their Premier League season with a disappointing 3-3 draw at Watford on Saturday lunchtime as they squandered the lead late on.
The Reds are now preparing for their Champions League play-off clash against Hoffenheim on Tuesday night.