Chinese businessman Jisheng Gao’s takeover of Southampton could work in Chelsea’s favour after the Times revealed that no new funds will be given to Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino to spend during this transfer window.
Journalist Matt Hughes believes this development could prompt the Argentine to decide to sell Chelsea target Virgil van Dijk. The Dutchman is currently training away from the first team squad, and it was confirmed yesterday that the 26 year old would not be considered to play against West Ham tomorrow.
Van Dijk handed in a transfer request last week, but there has no change in the position of the club or the player so far. While the centre back wants to leave, Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger said on Wednesday that that the player won’t be sold this month.
The situation could change now that Pellegrino knows he won’t be given a transfer kitty to spend. The Southampton manager will have to consider whether keeping van Dijk, or the £60m to £70m that could be raised for new signings from the sale of the player, is more important.