Liverpool have been handed a fresh lease of life in their pursuit of Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk this January, with Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino admitting that the defender can be sold in January as every player has a price in the market.

The Reds will get a close view of the player when they face the Saints at Anfield this weekend, having spurned the opportunity to sign the Dutchman in the summer.

Jurgen Klopp's side were forced to issue an apology after being accused of making an illegal approach to sign Van Dijk, an episode that appeared to end speculation over his future. The ex-Celtic centre-back has five seasons to run on a contract he renewed last year and was expected to lead a new Pellegrino era on the south coast.

Reds owners Fenway Sports Group assured the Saints that they would not make any further approach for the player unless they were invited by the south coast club. However, despite the protestations, Van Dijk was linked with a move to Anfield till late in the summer transfer window, along with interest from Chelsea, but the Saints refused to let him leave.

However, the tide seems to have turned ahead of the January window, with Pellegrino ostensibly inviting bids for the defender with his latest comments. The Reds are currently 12 points behind leaders Manchester City, 11 games into the season and will need a change of gargantuan proportions to get anywhere close to the top.

"I don't know. I can't control the market. You never know, because when we talk about money everybody has got a price. The budget is to sign players and the biggest teams have got money to try to sign players," Pellegrino said in his press conference, as quoted by the Mirror.

"I can't decide about that. This is a question for our owners. Everybody is focused on their area, to try to bring the best players possible for their club. It is something that happens every single transfer window. We have got a lot of good players and most of the teams want to sign them."

Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk was keen on completing a move from Southampton to Liverpool in the summer Getty