Mauricio Pellegrino unsure if Liverpool target Virgil van Dijk stays beyond January

David Cooper 13:45 17/09/2017
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Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino admits he is unsure if Liverpool target Virgil van Dijk will remain at the club beyond January.

The Dutch defender made his first senior appearance of the season as he stepped up his reintegration as a late substitute in the 1-0 over Crystal Palace following a summer of uncertainty.

The 26-year-old handed in a transfer request in a bid to force through a move to Anfield but the Saints board blocked a move with the Sunday Times reporting Pellegrino actually wanted to sell the centre-half to raise funds.

However, Van Dijk remains a Southampton player and Pellegrino believes he is one of the best defenders around.

“Around the player there is a lot of interest. You know how football is, it’s a big business. We have to accept that. Around him it is the same situation. Now we have to leave aside this situation. Now everything is normal,” Pellegrino said.

“Now, for me I’ve got this group of players and I will try to push them, to work with them, to help them, to improve every single day.

“We never know how the market will be in January. We can bring in some players, every single squad can improve. We have got people who are working to improve our squad all the time.

“And for the other teams it’s the same. They will push to bring the best players and Virgil is one case. He’s one of the best players in the Premier League.

“It’s normal that the biggest teams in the Premier League want to buy him.”

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