Daily Echo:

Saints chairman Ralph Krueger has reiterated that Virgil van Dijk is not for sale and insists he will be welcomed back with “open arms” when he accepts the club’s decision.

The Dutch centre half is continuing to push for a move away from St Mary’s, having not backed down after issuing a request last week.

Saints have remained steadfast in their approach to van Dijk, and while the Daily Echo understands they are trailing Lazio defender Wesley Hoedt among others, it is as an addition to the squad rather than a replacement for their want away 26-year-old.

Krueger said: “Our stance remains based on our strategy from May when we spoke last.

“I already told you the numbers that we have transferred in and transferred out and it is time to stop that.

“We really thought this was a good summer for that. Strength of the contracts, age of the group and the experiences of last year like going to a cup final gave us the feeling this is a group that tasted that winning and keeping them together would give us the chance to reach another level.

“Virgil is not the only player that is involved in this he is part of the whole strategy of not selling. Nobody is for sale that we don't want to sell and so he is not for sale in this window. We have said it more than once.

“We are not done with the window yet. We are still looking at some options. I am not going to promise anything. It has got to be something that truly strengthens the squad and fits into our group.

“We are still looking and at the end of the transfer window we will see who we have and what we have.

“Mauricio has done an amazing job of dealing with this situation. It has not disrupted our team. It is not in any way caused a lack of focus in training, in the locker room, and of course everybody will open their arms when Virgil comes back and we go at it.”

Krueger was asked whether Saints would even turn down a ludicrous offer if one came in and replied: “I will tell you one thing - over the years we have spoken I don't give definite answers where there isn't a definite.

“With all the knowledge I have today and all the information I have on my plate right now my answer is we are carrying our strategy through the summer and that's it. “