?It has been a frustrating summer for the Liverpool board, who have so far found it difficult to persuade Southampton to part with key defender Virgil van Dijk. Now it has been revealed that the Saints may have to sell players to create further funds for reinvestment.
According to the ?Times, boss Mauricio Pellegrino may struggle to add to the squad he has inherited upon his appointment in June, as businessman and new Chinese owner Jisheng Gao has allegedly revealed that the club might need to sell players before Pellegrino can build a team capable of challenging in the Premier League.
After buying an 80% stake in the Hampshire based club for £210m, sources indicate that Gao has no intention of injecting further cash into the club and the board and transfer committee will have to sell the likes of Van Dijk, which will be music to the ears of clubs such as Liverpool.
With the Dutch international frozen out of the squad and with little backing from the clubs new majority owner, Argentine manager could be forced to sell Van Dijk to either Liverpool, Chelsea or the highest bidder.
Bearing this in mind, if Pellegrino remains firm on his decision to keep the current 26-year-old captain, who has made his intentions clear that he wishes to move on to a bigger team, Southampton might have to balance the squad elsewhere by selling less valuable players or looking at possible loan acquisitions.
Following an earlier statement from former Katharina Liebherr admitted a new injection of life was needed at the south coast outfit to push for the highest Premier League place possible, it looks like Pellegrino may have to bide his time or pull off a couple of transfer masterstrokes to give his side a chance of competing in a tough league.