Liverpool have made a major breakthrough in their long-running pursuit of Southampton star Virgil van Dijk, according to reports.
The Reds were forced to issue an official apology after an illegal approach for Van Dijk in the summer transfer window, but remain determined to sign the 26-year-old defender.
While Premier League leaders Manchester City are also intent on landing the Netherlands international, the Reds are on the cusp of winning the transfer race.
The Sunday World claim that Liverpool are close to agreeing a £70million deal for Van Dijk after being shown a green light to discuss the move.
A £70m fee would smash Liverpool’s current transfer record, but the Merseyside giants are in desperate need of defensive reinforcements ahead of the January window so are pressing ahead with the move.
Mauricio Pellegrino has left Van Dijk out of Southampton’s two most recent matches and Mauricio Pellegrino hinted that the centre-back’s days are numbered at St Mary’s.
Speaking after the Saints’ 1-1 draw with Huddersfield, Pellegrino said: ‘Virgil, we know there will be a lot of speculation about him he’s important player but I can’t say anything right now.
‘I decided that was best for this moment. This is the reason. I am responsible for picking 11 players, and I intend to pick the best for the team. ‘Van Dijk’s future? We have to wait.’