Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp knows Virgil van Dijk is likely to face an unfriendly atmosphere on his return to St Mary’s but suggested Southampton fans should be pleased with the deal.
Van Dijk switched to the Reds in a deal understood to be worth £75million at the start of the year, joining a host of former Saints players at Anfield.
“It is nothing we think about. I don’t think Southampton will say we have stolen him. It was a really public deal. They may say thank you for all the money they have,” said Klopp.
“There are a few good players from there so maybe we should have a scouting department at Southampton and it shows the good work they do down there.”
The Dutchman could start when Liverpool travel to the south coast this weekend and when asked what reception he is likely to get, Klopp replied: “I don’t know exactly but probably it will not be the most friendly.
“No ex-Southampton player will play on Sunday! Would we have a team?
“Yes, for sure I’ll talk to Virgil about going back there. It won’t be a normal game.
“It won’t be a friendly game, they fight for everything, we fight for everything.
They will want to show their quality but we have our own targets. They are a football playing side.”