Virgil van Dijk will tomorrow step out at Anfield for the first time since his summer transfer saga with manager Mauricio Pellegrino admitting he is unsure over the long-term future of his star centre half.

Van Dijk spent most of the summer trying to force a move to Liverpool, but was unsuccessful as Saints held firm.

There is speculation that the Reds will be back in for van Dijk during the January transfer window, and that this time they could land their man.

Pellegrino admitted that if they were prepared to cough up enough money then he could not rule out van Dijk moving, and insisted it would not be his decision over whether to sell.

He said: “You never know because the market when we talk about money everybody has got a price.

“The budget to sign players, the biggest teams have got money to try to sign players.

“I can’t decide about that. This is a question for our owners.”

He added: “I don’t know, I can’t control the market.

“I cannot control the whisper about my player because we have got a lot of good players, and most of the teams want to sign them.

“The majority of the teams in Europe want to try to improve their squad and the market is huge now around the world, and information is enormous right now.

“We can’t control this and we have to be focussed.

“Right now Virgil is thinking about us but a lot of players are thinking about other clubs, we are thinking about maybe other players to try and bring here next year.

“Everybody is focussed on their area to try to bring the best players possible for our club. It is something that happens every single transfer window.”

Liverpool’s summer pursuit of van Dijk attracted a lot of headlines, as well as some criticism after they apologised following accusations of tapping up.

Van Dijk’s transfer request also made things difficult, but the 26-year-old is now back playing regularly for Saints.

“He is training well and thinking about the club,” insisted Pellegrino.

“We can’t control the market and the whisper. We talk about something we can control.

“As a manager and people in this club we have a lot of players who are important, a lot of clubs in the world want players from our club.

“Virgil is one of this but we have to focussed on our job.”