Daily Echo:

Virgil van Dijk has not handed in a transfer request as Saints remain confident they can keep hold of their star defender.

There have been widespread suggestions that the Dutch international is so keen on a switch to Liverpool that he has spoken to the Saints hierarchy to try and force through a move.

That would inevitably mean having to table a written transfer request to put pressure on the club to sell to Liverpool, with the player also then forgoing his right to compensation for the remaining five years on his St Mary’s contract.

However, the Daily Echo understands that no such conversations have taken place and that van Dijk has not tried to force through a move behind the scenes.

As things stand Saints are still adamant that they can keep hold of van Dijk, despite the rumblings over Liverpool’s interest growing ever louder again.

It seemed Saints had managed to fend off the Anfield club’s advances after threatening to report them to the Premier League for an alleged illegal approach.

Liverpool issued an apology in which they said they were dropping their interest in the player.

Though publically nothing has changed, and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been guarded with his comments so as not to inflame the situation, media reports suggest they haven’t entirely given up yet.

That has been based on the assumption that van Dijk is still keen on a move to Liverpool, and there is little doubt that having not filled that position that the Reds would be keen, with a £60m price tag quoted.

The Daily Echo understands that that kind of figure has never been enough to tempt Saints.

However, there is an expectation in Liverpool that could change if van Dijk is prepared to really push for the move and back Saints into a corner.

That would be out of character for van Dijk, though, with the laid back 26-year-old having been a solid member of the squad.

He travelled to Austria to take part in the first pre-season training camp under Mauricio Pellegrino though didn’t figure in the friendly against St Gallen as Saints ease him back after a prolonged period out injured.

Saints remain adamant that they want to keep hold of van Dijk for at least another season, with the theory that his value is unlikely to dip in the next 12 months, at which point the situation can be reviewed again.

Having handed van Dijk a six-year deal last summer, and with the centre half having spent the second half of last season out injured, they believe they are entitled to loyalty from the player in return for their investment.