Liverpool have reportedly faced a fresh blow in their efforts to sign wantaway defender Virgil van Dijk from Southampton.
That’s according to the Daily Express , who report that Saints would rather let the centre-back rot in the stands than sell him to the Reds.
The 25-year-old has put in a transfer request at St Mary’s, but the club are still angry at the Merseysiders for tapping up their captain and are digging their heels in over the matter.
Mauricio Pellegrino’s side are even said to be willing to miss out on the £60million payday that would come their way, even if it means him never playing for the club again.
Barca ramp up Coutinho effort
Barcelona want to sign Liverpool playmaker Philippe Countinho by the end of the week.
The Spanish giants are sending a three-man delegation to London to try to negotiate a £100million move to the Nou Camp.
Liverpool continue to insist the player is not for sale and that he remains committed to the Kop cause.
But Nou Camp trio Oscar Grau, Raul Sanllehi and Javier Bordas will be sent to the UK under orders to secure Coutinho’s signature in time for him to play in Spain’s Super Cup final on Sunday against arch rivals Real Madrid.
Barca, awash with cash following the £199m sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain, are determined to strike a deal.
Football transfer news 2017
Dutch boss weighs in on Van Dijk
Holland boss Dick Advocaat admits he will have to “deal with things” if Virgil van Dijk’s Southampton stand-off remains unresolved.
Wantaway Saints defender Van Dijk stepped up his attempts to force his exit by handing in a transfer request.
Liverpool and Chelsea are both keen on the defender £60m Dutch centre-back who has been ordered to train alone after telling Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino he wants to leave.
But with Southampton adamant they won’t cave in and sell Van Dijk, 26, is facing an uncertain future for club and country.