Southampton are remaining stubborn in their quest to prevent stalwart defender Virgil van Dijk joining Liverpool, despite having his heart set on Merseyside, as per the Liverpool Echo.
The Telegraph reported in June that the seaside club had complained to the FA about the Reds illegally approaching their star man. Despite Liverpool being relieved of any sanction, the relationship between the two clubs has since proved bitter.
Boss Jurgen Klopp was considering a £50m bid for the 26-year-old shortly after the transfer window opened, according to The Metro.
He is still hopeful Southampton will listen to a club-record offer in an attempt to break the Saints’ resilience, even if it looks progressively unlikely as the conclusion of the transfer window draws closer.
Instead, it is more probable Mauricio Pellegrino’s side will do business with another club with both Chelsea and Manchester City penning their interest in the player. Nevertheless, Southampton still have a grain of hope that the team captain may have a change of heart and decide to stay at St. Mary’s.
The only way, the Liverpool Echo says, that Van Dijk will end up in a Liverpool jersey is if the defender “digs his heels in and continues to sit on the sidelines in protest.”
The Dutchman did not feature in any pre-season games for Southampton as he continues to train with the youth team after The Metro also reported he had handed in a transfer request earlier this month.