Liverpool target Virgil van Dijk has been omitted from Southampton’s squad for a pre-season training camp in France.
The centre-back had a solid season for the Saints last campaign and made 30 appearances in all competitions as they finished eighth in the Premier League.
Reported interest from fellow Premier League side Liverpool has turned Van Dijk’s head and now Mauricio Pellegrino has taken the decision to leave him out of the 25-man party heading to Evain-les-Bains.
Pellegrino explained the situation last week after it was revealed Van Dijk was training alone, he said: “The boy said that he is not available to play because he wants to leave.
“I had to say, ‘If you don’t want to be involved because you don’t feel OK then you have to train alone.’
“The club have told me they will not sell Virgil.
“Now he is not involved with the team because psychologically he is not 100 per cent. I need to work with players who are 100 per cent behind Southampton so it’s easy for me.”
Liverpool are understood to be willing to pay as much as £60million for the 26-year-old but, according to the Daily Mail, will wait for Southampton’s permission before launching a bid.
That comes after Southampton reported the Reds to the Premier League over an approach for Van Dijk that led to an apology from Liverpool.