Liverpool transfer round-up: Van Dijk alternative identified, request made for Riyad Mahrez

Aubrey Yates
July 25, 2017

Liverpool would have to top Benjamin Mendy's Manchester City fee - making the Saints centre-back the world's most expensive defender.

The Reds boss has been chasing the 25-year-old Netherlands global central defender since the end of last season, but they dropped their interest and issued an apology to the Saints when accused of trying to tap up the former Celtic man.

Such a signal wouldn't necessarily have to be public, as Liverpool have reportedly worked to fix their relationship with the southern club since that incident, but it is clear that there will not be a move for the player now if Saints aren't willing to deal.

Virgil van Dijk has been left out of Southampton's pre-season tour squad and is determined to join Liverpool as the Reds prepare a £60m offer for the defender, according to a report in the Express.

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Van Dijk, though, will not travel with the team, having been excluded from selection contention and first-team training by new manager Pellegrino.

Liverpool have been clear on their transfer targets this summer: Virgil Van Dijk, Mo Salah, and Naby Keita. I need to work with a player that works at 100% to defend Southampton.

Van Dijk has become one of English football's most sought-after defenders after a fine second season at St Mary's that was curtailed by an ankle injury suffered in January.

In the Netherlands, the option exists for players to go to an arbitration board if they feel as though they are being treated unfairly, though that does not exist in England meaning Van Dijk's hopes rest on Southampton calling a truce with Liverpool.

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