Mauricio Pellegrino has suggested Virgil van Dijk could leave Southampton in January due to the unpredictable nature of the transfer market.

The Dutch centre-back tried to force a move to Liverpool in the summer when he handed in a transfer request in response to the Reds’ pursuit of him.

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The Saints refused to let their star defender depart, however, yet he ended up being frozen out of the team before returning as a vital part of the team. 

Although the 26-year-old is a regular in the starting XI again, Pellegrino believes the club could face more offers for him in the winter.

“I don’t know, I can’t control the market,” he told reporters when asked if Van Dijk will remain until the end of the season.

“You never know because the market when we talk about money everybody has got a price.

“The budget is to sign players and the biggest teams have got money to try to sign players. I can’t decide about that. This is a question for our owners.

“Everybody is focussed on their area to try to bring the best players possible for their club. It is something that happens every single transfer window.

 “We have got a lot of good players and most of the teams want to sign them.

HD Virgil van Dijk

“The majority of the teams in Europe want to try to improve their squad and the market is huge now around the world, and information is enormous right now.

“We can’t control this and we have to be focused.

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“Right now Virgil is thinking about us but a lot of players are thinking about other clubs, we are thinking about maybe other players to try and bring here next year.

“Virgil is training well, thinking about our club.”

The former Groningen and Celtic player will come up against Liverpool in Saturday’s Premier League clash at Anfield. He is contracted to the St Mary’s Stadium outfit until 2022.

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