We’ve heard this sort of thing before. This summer, even, when RB Leipzig brought midfielder Konrad Lemar over from Salzburg. He was meant to be Naby Keïta’s replacement, the signing that would free up the Guinean star to move to Liverpool. Or so said all the reports at the time.
Now, Southampton are apparently trying to sign a defender, either Lazio’s Wesley Hoedt or Tottenham’s Kevin Wimmer, with the Saints reportedly approaching both clubs in recent days to gauge their willingness to sell as well as potential cost. Once they learn that, they will move for one of them.
Or at least that’s what the chatter has been across the English tabloids early this week, that despite the fact thay have made noises about their hopes of reintegrating Van Dijk in training ahead of the new season, Southampton are paving the way for his departure within the next few weeks.
Giving credence to that narrative is news today that, following Southampton’s return from France, Van Dijk remains absent from pre-season training. He had been left behind while his teammates headed out on tour, but the club had insisted they would seek to bring him back into the fold when they returned.
They have now done so, but the player remains isolated, training on his own, and rather than being reintegrated it is now believed he will hold further talks with manager Mauricio Pellegrino aimed at forcing a move away from St. Mary’s this summer. All of which could add up to a transfer being imminent.
Or it might not be. Because for their part, Liverpool are keeping the leaks shut down and not offering any kind of insight into the situation. And because we’ve heard this before—heard about clubs signing replacements and players pushing for moves—most recently with RB Leipzig and Naby Keïta.