SOUTHAMPTON boss Mauricio Pellegrino has for the first time admitted it was a mistake to keep former Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk at the club this summer.

The Premier League boss seemed sick of the speculation and the notion that van Dijk was pivotal to Southampton

“We have to wait until January. I can’t control the market, so we’ll see what happens,” he said. “I decided it’s best for the team and there has been a lot speculation.

“We win, draw and lose with and without Virgil. In this squad, I have a lot of players that can play. We are used to changes. We can’t use this performance as an excuse.

“We tried to do the best for the team. The board decided to try to keep our best player at the club. This situation is a big learning curve for everybody and now we decide what is the best for the club.

“He’s part of our club and he’s an important player for us, but we’ll see what happens. I can’t control the whispers and news from outside.”

The club value the player at £70million with Liverpool and Man City having the fund to complete the deal in January if they are desperate to land the Dutchman.

With Celtic having a healthy sell-on clause of around to 10-15% on Virgil, it’s a waiting game for the money men at Celtic Park.

Will Southampton finally move the player on in January?