SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 19, 2016: Southampton's Virgil Van Dijk arrives ahead of the FA Premier League match against Everton at St. Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Virgil van Dijk “set for showdown talks” with Southampton this week

Liverpool’s primary summer transfer target Virgil van Dijk will sit down with Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino this week to discuss his future.

The Reds’ much-publicised pursuit of Van Dijk has felt never-ending this summer, with talk over a potential move to Anfield filling endless column inches.

With the start of the Premier League season now under a fortnight away, however, both Liverpool and Southampton need the situation to be resolved one way or the other.

According to the Liverpool Echo‘s James Pearce, Van Dijk will talk to new Saints boss and former Reds centre-back Pellegrino in the coming days, in order to make the current situation clearer.

The Dutchman was not included in the Southampton squad that travelled to France for a recent pre-season trip, training on his own back in England instead.

Saints remain adamant that their captain and best player is not for sale, but should Van Dijk reiterate his desire to join Liverpool this week, they may feel an unhappy player is no good to them.

Southampton's Virgil van Dijk celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at St Mary's, Southampton.

The report states that “Pellegrino is hoping that the £60million-rated centre-back will back down so he can be reintegrated with his team-mates” – it is a decision that could potentially define Liverpool’s summer.

Elsewhere, local Southampton newspaper writes that Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino has been planning on life without him, either in the long or short term.

Jurgen Klopp is more than willing to smash the club’s transfer record to bring in the highly-rated centre-back, and failure to acquire his signature would be a body blow.

There have even been some claims suggesting Klopp will not sign an alternative if he misses out on Van Dijk, which would be sure to cause a stir.

It is hard to know exaxtly what to be believe this summer, but this week is seemingly going to be crucial in terms of Liverpool’s quest to bring the 26-year-old to Merseyside.

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