The Reds’ pursuit of Van Dijk has been one of the longest-running transfer sagas in recent memory, with Jurgen Klopp pencilling in the Dutchman as his ideal signing at centre-back.
A potential deal looked over earlier this summer, with Liverpool having to make an embarrassing apology over their handling of the deal, but speculation has continued since.
Southampton have now confirmed that Van Dijk is not part of their 25-man squad travelling to France for a training camp this week.
Saints boss and former Liverpool defender Mauricio Pellegrino has already confirmed that the 26-year-old was training away from the squad back in England, after Van Dijk made it clear he wanted to join the Reds.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) July 24, 2017
This is a significant chapter in the Van Dijk affair, and the hope is that a record-breaking deal is now able to be put in place.
Various reports have claimed that this week will be pivotal in Liverpool’s attempts to bring in both Van Dijk and RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita – this news could indicate that those claims are correct.
If the Southampton captain does become a Liverpool player, he is expected to smash the club’s transfer record, with a fee in the region of £70 million mooted in the past.
He would be an enormous signing for the Reds, who have struggled so much to solve their defensive woes this decade.