Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino wanted to sell Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool, but was overruled by the club’s board.
Liverpool were keen to sign Van Dijk this summer, and were thought to be close to concluding a deal as early as June.
The club were dealt a blow when Southampton accused them of tapping-up the player however, and Liverpool were forced into a public apology.
They dropped their interest thereafter, but Matt Hughes of The Times reports that Pellegrino was ‘happy’ to let the Dutchman go.
‘Virgil van Dijk has work to do to force his way into Mauricio Pellegrino’s plans at Southampton despite the club’s indifferent start to the season in which they have won only one of their opening four matches,’ Hughes writes.
‘The Dutch defender has yet to return to first-team training and is instead working with the under-23 side after making his first appearance since January in an academy team who were beaten 4-0 by Aston Villa on Monday.
‘Van Dijk, 26, has made himself available for selection, but has bridges to build with Pellegrino after trying to force through a move to Liverpool.
‘The Argentinian manager would have happily sold Van Dijk during the summer to raise funds to strengthen his squad elsewhere, but was overruled by the Southampton board.’