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Liverpool Face Setback In Pursuit of Another Southampton Defender

While the Reds are reportedly interested in Virgil van Dijk, Southampton manager Claude Puel was quick to dismiss "not important" talk.

Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Liverpool have demonstrated noticeable improvement at the back as the season has progressed, but there have nonetheless been murmurs that they are interested in making a January move for standout Southampton center back Virgil van Dijk. With Mamadou Sakho seemingly locked out of the side, it might make sense to add another reliable defensive piece.

However, Southampton manager Claude Puel would rather the Reds stop poaching his club's best players. When asked about the van Dijk rumors, he was dismissive of the question.

"It's just speculation, and I cannot participate with speculation," Puel said (via the Mirror). "All the players are in the club's project, and for this season it is important to continue this work with good spirit and this is true with all the players. It is just rumour and it's not important for me."

Still, a sizable offer from Liverpool next month could move the needle in the right direction and increase the possibility of getting van Dijk over the summer. Whether that's an actual goal of Klopp is another question that will be answered soon enough.

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