Liverpool’s long battle to sign Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk might be about to come to a successful conclusion.
The Reds looked as though they had won the race for his signature in the summer when it was revealed that they were his first choice ahead of the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea, but Southampton’s threat to report Liverpool to the Premier League for talking to the player without the club’s consent made any deal at the time virtually impossible.
However, relations between the two clubs has since improved and, according to Kevin Palmer of the Sunday World (who covered the Van Dijk story extensively in the summer), Liverpool have made a breakthrough in negotiations.
Southampton, having been determined to keep the Dutch international in the summer, do appear to have softened their stance on him recently. His performances this season have been nowhere near his usual standard, and manager Mauricio Pellegrino has taken the step of leaving him out of the Southampton starting lineup for their last two Premier League games.
Whether that means a move away from St. Mary’s really is in the offing remains to be seen, but with the January transfer window opening next week, Van Dijk is likely to be the subject of intense speculation once again.