For perhaps the first time, someone from Southampton has potentially conceded that Virgil van Dijk may leave this summer.
The Dutchman handed in a transfer request last week, attached to a statement which proved he’s desperate to depart for Champions League football, but his club have so far claimed their stance has remained the same and he’s not available.
However, manager Mauricio Pellegrino has said that he’s ‘hopeful’ van Dijk will change his mind, suggesting he accepts the centre-back may not…
The Argentine 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 are in a similar situation to Southampton in many ways, with our best player Coutinho handing in a transfer request after having his head turned by Barcelona.
Our Brazilian has not gone as far to criticise the club with an inflammatory statement, however, with Jurgen Klopp hoping to reintegrate him into the side.
Ideally, we’ll secure van Dijk and keep Coutinho, because the situation where we lose Phil and fail to buy the centre-back we so crucially need doesn’t bear thinking about.