Liverpool-target Virgil van Dijk ordered to train alone at Southampton | inside World Soccer

Liverpool-target Virgil van Dijk ordered to train alone at Southampton

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The latest twist in the Virgil van Dijk saga comes after the Southampton captain is unavailable to play in pre-season games because "psychologically he is not 100 percent."

Liverpool were heavily linked with a move to try and sign van Dijk last month with Reds boss Jürgen Klopp targeting a title tilt next season.

However, the proposed switch fell through after Southampton reported Liverpool to the Premier League for an alleged illegal approach to sign their skipper.

That prompted Liverpool to drop their interest in the 26-year-old and forced them to issue an embarrassing apology to the Saints.

Although Liverpool publicly ended their interest in the Dutchman but it appears the former Glasgow Celtic defender is still to be keen on a move to Anfield.

On Friday, new Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino confirmed that van Dijk would train alone after he told his manager of his desire to leave.

Speaking to BBC Radio Solent, Pellegrino said:

He is not involved with the team because psychologically he is not 100 percent.

I need to work with the players who are 100 percent to defend Southampton. It's easy for me.

When I was talking with him, the boy said that he is not available to play because he wants to leave.

This is the decision. I had to say, 'If you don't want to be involved because you don't feel okay then you have to train alone until this period of time is over'.

Pellegrino has been informed that the Saints position is not to sell van Dijk this summer, in the hope that the Netherlands international can be persuaded to stay.

My relationship with Virgil is excellent. I was clear with the boy, and I was talking from the first day with him. The club was clear. The club told me they will not sell Virgil.

I hope that Virgil can review his feelings because you know that today a player is big business. Not just the player but behind them is a lot of interests.

I don't want to say too much but we need the player, 100 percent. I want to help the squad, I want to help Virgil, but we need a player, and I repeat, involved in every training session, not just with the body but with the mind on the pitch with the rest of the players.

Southampton have sold Liverpool a number of key players in recent years, and it should not come as a surprise if in the end they do let van Dijk leave for the Merseyside outfit.

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