£70m Liverpool target handed surprise lifeline after failed transfer

Virgil van Dijk has surprisingly been allowed back into training with the Southampton first-team followed by a summer of speculation linking him with a transfer to the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea.

The Netherlands international was deemed not to be in the right frame of mind to train or play with the club by manager Mauricio Pellegrino earlier in the summer, following the disappointment of failing to get his move away from St Mary’s.

However, Van Dijk may now be in contention to play this weekend against Watford in a surprise development, according to the Daily Mirror.

Liverpool and Chelsea led the chase for Van Dijk for much of the summer as a transfer seemed almost certain, but Southampton refused to budge on an asking price believed to be in the region of £70million.

The 26-year-old has a contract with the Saints until 2022, putting them under little pressure to buckle and sell for anything less than they judge as an acceptable fee.

Long known for being something of a selling club, Southampton have lost a number of big names to Liverpool in particular in recent years, such as Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne.

Still, they managed to hold on to Van Dijk this summer and can now reap the benefits as they hope to include him in their first-team once again.

One of the best defenders in the Premier League last season, it would certainly aid the club’s cause if Van Dijk could get back to his best for the club once again this term.