Liverpool are waiting patiently to reignite their pursuit of Virgil van Dijk as they seek reassurance that Southampton will be open to the deal.
The Reds have been forced to tread carefully of late having been subject to a complaint by Saints officials against their apparent illegal pursuit of the Dutchman, which reportedly involved secret meetings between Jurgen Klopp and the player.
An official approach for the defender is lurking in the wings but won’t be made unless Liverpool are given good reason to believe Southampton are open to offers, according to the Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce.
Van Dijk has already supposedly set his heart on a move to Anfield and was recently banished to train alone having informed the South Coast club he wants to leave this summer.
His most likely destination would undoubtedly be Liverpool, with Klopp still viewing him as a priority and his one and only centre-back target.
Despite the player’s latest push for a move, new manager Mauricio Pellegrino has been quick to feedback the club’s stance by stressing that he will not be leaving.
“The boy said that he is no available to play because he wants to leave. This is the decision,” Pellegrino told the Daily Echo.
“I had to say ‘if you don’t want to be involved because you don’t feel OK then you have to train alone until this period of time happens’.”
“The club was clear. The club told me they will not sell Virgil. I translated the idea of the club to the player and for me it was easy because I had to manage the dynamic of the team.”
Any move for Van Dijk is likely to be upwards of £60million which, if successful, would make him the most expensive defender in history- a title recently acquired by Manchester City’s new signing Kyle Walker.
What is most surprising and potentially worrying, depending on how it is viewed, is the idea a deal for Van Dijk has emerged as more likely than Liverpool signing RB Leipzig’s Naby Keita.
The pressure is on now for the Reds to sign at least one of the two.