The uncertainty over Virgil van Dijk’s future is expected to rumble on after Southampton secured the signature of a new defender.
The Dutchman has been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool throughout the summer, but so far the Saints have stood firm in their stance that the centre-back is not for sale.
With just nine days to go until the transfer window slams shut, it seemed increasingly likely that the 26-year-old would stay at St Mary’s.
However, Liverpool fans have tried to read between the lines after Southampton announced the signing of Wesley Hoedt from Lazio.
The 23-year-old has penned a five-year contract and will wear the number six shirt, which was previously worn by Jose Fonte, who left the club in January to join West Ham United.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) August 22, 2017
As expected, many Liverpool supporters have assumed that Hoedt’s arrival will pave the way for Van Dijk to move to Anfield, but an interesting part of the statement suggests that the fans have got it wrong.
Southampton vice-chairman Les Reed told the club’s official website that Hoedt will develop “alongside international teammate Virgil van Dijk”.
That has not stopped Reds fans from speculating, though.
£15m for Hoedt is a great signing by Southampton. A decent replacement for Van Dijk ? #LFC
— Owain Chatwell (@OChatwell) August 22, 2017
We getting Van Dijk #lfc
— Star Boy ✴☺ ** (@kibirango1) August 22, 2017
Les Reed might be the most deluded man in football right now. Van Dijk wants out, not development with their new defender! #LFC
— Nic Mason (@MrNickMason) August 22, 2017
Southampton vice chairman on the capture of their new CB.
— Anything Liverpool (@AnythingLFC_) August 22, 2017
— Mark Donnelly (@MarkDonno85) August 22, 2017
— Seán Makka (@Sean_Makaa) August 22, 2017
Southampton sign center-back Hoedt from Lazio. Hopefully they will change their stance on Van Dijk. #lfc
— HajjLFC (@Hajj_LFC) August 22, 2017
Van Dijk is either moving to Liverpool or Chelsea. He has broken all ties with Southampton and that is why he's training with the U18s.
— Sherlin (@SherlinGovender) August 22, 2017