June 18, 2018

Manchester City close to landing Southampton's Van Dijk

27 December 2017, 01:43 | Kristopher Drake

GETTY Liverpool in three-way battle for Sheffield United ace David Brooks

David Brooks

"Everybody comes to try to see this team giving everything, trying to win points and games".

It is a far cry from the 8th-placed finish they secured last term, and not to forget the League Cup final they reached, in which a late Zlatan Ibrahimovic header broke Saints' hearts against Manchester United. The Sun reported that Barcelona are also keeping tabs on van Dijk.

However, with City manager Pep Guardiola reportedly lining up a £50 million (S$89.7m) move for van Dijk in the winter window and Liverpool set to revive their interest in him, tension seemed to have built up between van Dijk and Pellegrino again.

Van Dijk was omitted from the Southampton squad once more this afternoon at Tottenham, and Pellegrino briefly addressed the situation before kick-off at Wembley.

Liverpool were hot on the trail over Van Dijk in the summer, before Saints threatened to report them to the Premier League over an alleged illegal approach for the centre-back. He has been linked with the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea.

Saints manager Mauricio Pellegrino said that van Dijk was fit for selection for that game, but has made a decision to leave him out again amid speculation that the player wants to leave the St Mary's Stadium.

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'I have to decide what's best for the team and around Virgil there has been a lot of speculation, ' he said after the 5-2 loss. "We will wait till January and then after we will talk about it".

"The manager decides what is the best".

"We tried to do the best for the team".

He added: "The club decides which bid they accept, the player decides whether or not he goes to that club".

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