Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino will hold discussions with defender Virgil van Dijk in the hope of learning that the Netherlands defender has given up hope of joining Liverpool this summer. The 26-year-old, who has five years to run on his current contract at St Mary's, has been at the centre of a long-running transfer saga during the transfer window but Saints are optimistic of bringing an end to the uncertainty this week.
Van Dijk was omitted from the club's pre-season trip to France and forced to work alone at the club's Staplewood training ground last week. Pellegrino had sensed a lack focus in the defender but is hopeful that a period of time left to his own devices has changed his mindset.
The Daily Echo understands that with Liverpool still having yet to firm up their interest in Van Dijk, Southampton are eager to learn that he has given up trying to manufacture a move away from the south coast. The Reds are understood to be waiting for the "green light" before submitting a bid for the £50m-rated Van Dijk but with no encouragement offered the deal appears to have stalled.
Pellegrino is preparing for life after Van Dijk, with Southampton purported to be interested in signing Kevin Wimmer from Tottenham Hotspur as his replacement, though if he does stay the club want to ramp up his preparations for the new season. An ankle injury means Van Dijk has not played since January and his lack of pre-season activity means he won't be ready for the start of the new campaign.
Liverpool do however remain heavily linked with the player who will be tasked with improving a Reds defence which shipped 42 goals last season - more than any side in the Premier League's top four. Jurgen Klopp, who is said to be calm over the club's transfer dealings and preferring "quality over quantity" in the window, has added full-back Andrew Robertson from Hull City but the heart of his back-line remains an area of concern.
Former Southampton boss Lawire McMenemy is growing increasingly frustrated at the transfer stand-off and says the club, whom he guided to their last major trophy in 1976 in the form of the FA Cup, should issue Liverpool with a take-it or leave-it deal to end the uncertainty over Van Dijk.
"Who can say what will happen? The season is coming on us very soon," he told The Daily Echo. "If he is going to stay here he needs to be playing as quickly as possible and the manager needs to know where he stands with team selection with only a couple of games left before the big ones start.
"The dressing room needs to be positive and as happy as possible, or will it be that van Dijk remains determined to leave?
"I for one would probably say if the choice is between him sitting at the back of the stand for the next five seasons or to say publicly we have done everything we could, and the player and his agent are not changing, it's a phone call to Liverpool and asking for £70m, or whatever price Les thinks, and tell them to take it or leave it."