VIRGIL van Dijk is back training among first team players at Saints after his summer transfer saga.

The 26-year-old is following his normal training programme as he works his way back to match fitness after the serious foot injury he suffered in January, and spending the last six weeks or so away from the first team.

Saints boss Pellegrino is expected to provide a further update on Saints' stance on the central defender when he faces the media in his pre-Watford press conference on Thursday.

For now, Van Dijk is back with first team players as part of his usual training routine, which includes group and individual work, and is said to have been welcomed back by his team-mates.

Van Dijk, who says he has never refused to particpate in training, has been training alone since July after telling the club he wanted to leave.

The situation then escalated last month with the Dutchman submitting a transfer request alongside a strongly-worded statement as he agitated for a move away.

But now the transfer window has closed with Van Dijk very much still a Saints player.

There has been a period of impasse with the defender unable to force through an exit until January at the earliest.

Van Dijk and the rest of the players not out on international duty were all given time off over the weekend, but have now reported back for light training ahead of Watford's visit to St Mary's in the Premier League on Saturday.

It is understood the club are waiting to see how things will develop when the full squad comes back together, with Van Dijk and the club's standpoint unclear at this point.

Pellegrino stated that he only wanted players who are 100 per cent committed to Saints and that stance is unlikely to have changed.

It will therefore be up to Van Dijk to come back from his time off committed when full training gets under way later in the week when Saints' contingent on international duty come back to Staplewood.

Liverpool and Chelsea held an interest in the Netherlands international throughout the summer but a bid never materialised.

Saints always stated that he was not for sale despite the player's attempts to leave.

If Van Dijk is to be fully reintegrated it may be some time before he returns to competitive action and may well need to be given playing time for the under-23s before making a first-team comeback.

Van Dijk last played a competitive match nearly eight months ago, having missed all of Saints' pre-season match programme because of the transfer saga.

The rest of the Saints team have left the door wide open for Van Dijk to come back to the fold, with captain Steven Davis reiterating several times that he'd be welcomed back with open arms.