Liverpool 'undeterred' despite Southampton's Van Dijk stance

Virgil van Dijk will be fit to return for the start of next season and Southampton boss Claude Puel expects the captain to stay at the club despite links with various Premier League teams.

In any event, this is standard management-speak, and even if Van Dijk is leaving, Puel is hardly going to confirm it in public.

The towering Dutchman is thought to be numerous Premier League's best club's primary transfer target this summer, with Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool all keeping tabs on the Southampton centre-back.

Heading into the summer transfer window, it's imperative that Liverpool gets their recruitment absolutely spot on and signing Virgil Van Dijk for £50 million would be a statement of intent to the league's big boys.

"But he's one of the best centre-backs in the world, so he may well have options".

Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City have been touted as potential suitors for the centre-back, who has been sidelined with injury since the end of January.

He said: "He's our captain and I have said he is important for us".

However, the Daily Star claim Liverpool will continue to go all out to sign Van Dijk as they are confident they can convince him to switch St Mary's for Anfield.

"Now the surgery is finished he can work normally and be ready for next season - with us".

Ahead of Wednesday night's game against Arsenal, the French tactician told reporters that; "He has a long contract and the directors want to keep him".

"He's important for us and now, of course, we will wait to the beginning of the season to see him on the pitch with Southampton".

  • Julie Sanders