- Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino admits he can’t control Virgil van Dijk’s future
- Defender linked with January move to Liverpool
- Dutchman handed in strongly-worded transfer request during the summer
- SEE MORE: Liverpool will only bid for Virgil van Dijk on one condition
Mauricio Pellegrino has yet again hinted that he will have little influence over the future of defender Virgil van Dijk.
The Southampton manager fuelled speculation linking the Dutchman to a January transfer by dropping his star man for Saturday’s defeat to Chelsea.
Pellegrino was left to address the uncomfortable situation after the game, admitting his virtually powerless position in Van Dijk’s decision-making.
“I can’t control the market. I’m not the owner of the player. I can have my opinion and this I have given to the technical director, to the chairman,” he told Sky Sports.
“After, the board can decide all together which is the best for the team. I will repeat that I can’t control the market right now. I can’t control this.”
“I will recommend to try to keep our best player here in the club. The club was clear in the beginning and I have the same opinion.”
A frustrating summer-long saga saw Liverpool try and fail to lure Van Dijk to Anfield as the big-money recruit designed to partially rectify the club’s familiar defensive frailties.
Southampton’s complaint against an alleged illegal approach forced the Reds to publicly apologise and subsequently shattered the relationship between the two clubs.
Van Dijk himself proceeded to offer new hope that a deal may still be possible when he lodged a hard-hitting transfer request, in which he expressed a need for European football and claimed to have been fined two weeks wages after being exiled to train with the youth team.
His efforts came to no avail, as Southampton refused to negotiate with Liverpool, who had been identified as Van Dijk’s ideal destination.
With Klopp’s side continuing to struggle defensively, the Reds are set to reignite their attempts to pluck yet another signing from St Mary’s.