Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk has returned to training with the Saints first-team after failing to clinch a £70m move to Liverpool during the summer transfer window.

Van Dijk made no secret of his desire to swap Hampshire for Merseyside this summer and submitted a transfer request last month as he attempted to push through a deal.

Van Dijk coupled his transfer request with a statement on social media, which read: "I want to play European football again and challenge for major honours and as such I would like Southampton to consider the interest in me from top clubs should it still exist.

"I have been left frustrated by the club's position that I am not for sale and am disappointed that enquiries from multiple top clubs have been consistently rebuffed."

His request was instantly rejected by Southampton, who forced Van Dijk to train away from Mauricio Pellegrino's first-team for the remainder of the transfer window.

The former Celtic star was made to train either on his own or with the Saints youth starlets, but Pellegrino has now seen fit to reintegrate the Dutch international back into first-team matter, according to the Daily Mail. It remains to be seen if the former Alaves manager includes the club captain in his matchday squad for the visit of Watford on Saturday (9 August).

Van Dijk will now have to try and thaw his rather frosty relationship with Southampton supporters and knuckle down until at least January, when the possibility of a transfer to Liverpool may arise again.

Jurgen Klopp's side were ready to pay a club-record fee for the £70m-rated Van Dijk, but Southampton were left fuming by Liverpool's perceived tapping-up of their captain and issued a complaint to the Premier League over the Merseysiders' approach.

Frightened of severe punishment, Liverpool apologised both publicly and privately to the Saints and made it clear that they would not make a move for the 26-year-old unless Pellegrino's side decided to sell.

While their interest in Van Dijk may linger, Liverpool are focused on other issues including trying to reintegrate Philippe Coutinho back into the first team reckoning on Merseyside.

Much like Van Dijk, Coutinho submitted a transfer request in order to push through a move to Barcelona, but he failed to clinch a switch to the Camp Nou and will now have to focus himself on performing well for Liverpool, who travel to face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Virgil van Dijk
Van Dijk is back training with the Southampton first team. Getty Images