Adam Leitch, the journalist equivalent of James Pearce for Liverpool, has confirmed that there is no way back for Virgil van Dijk, despite a report from Gary Jacobs in the Times that suggested Southampton would keep hold of him.
He’s claimed that van Dijk’s already infamous statement is so inflammatory that the Saints now have no choice but to sell the Dutchman before the season begins – and will look to do so quickly so that new boss Mauricio Pellegrino can move forward with a united squad.
“There is surely no way back for him now at St Mary’s,” Leitch wrote for the Daily Echo.
“The chance of any reintegration is gone. If his desire all along has been to make his position untenable – something which the statement appears to try and dispute – then it has been achieved.
“Leaving aside for one moment the rights and wrongs of the situation, it has to be game over for van Dijk now at Saints.”
Leitch went on to suggest that Liverpool are still in contention for van Dijk’s signature, but that Southampton’s priority now is making an enormous profit on the central defender.
At the beginning of the summer, we scoffed at a prospective £40m price-tag, but right now, Liverpool fans would accept spending almost double that if it means Jurgen Klopp getting the central defender he desires.
It could be the difference between silverware and another barren season, which you can’t put a price on.
For now, the wait continues.