The Virgil van Dijk situation has made Mauricio Pellegrino's job at Southampton very tricky right from day one.
After the 4-1 defeat to Leicester, the Saints boss warned he won't tolerate a lack of commitment from his players, but that's what he's had to deal with from the Dutchman ever since Liverpool's interest emerged.
“When I talk about a lack of connection it is when you are not mentally 100% on the pitch,” the Argentine said, per the Guardian.
Who could he possibly have been talking about?
The former Celtic defender handed in a transfer request in the summer, though Liverpool eventually issued a statement apologising for their pursuit amid accusations of tapping-up.
With Jurgen Klopp's side having conceded more goals than any other side in the top six, it's not inconceivable that they will renew their interest in January.
However, as per a report in The Times, they could find themselves in competition with several other Premier League clubs.
Manchester City have long been linked with the 26-year-old as they look to perfect an XI that already has very little room for improvement.
And Arsenal are the latest side to throw their hat into the ring, with Arsene Wenger allegedly weighing up whether he is happy to spend a club record £70million.
Is he worth it?
Per Mertesacker will retire at the end of the season and Wenger may be hesitant about playing Rob Holding or Calum Chambers regularly yet.
Injuries have meant Shkodran Mustafi has been in and out of the side this season, so it would come as little surprise if the Gunners were to dip into the market.
The big question is how comfortable Le Professeur will be parting with such a hefty sum, as he's traditionally spent Arsenal's money as if it were his own.
Whoever does land Van Dijk, if he does indeed leave St Mary's, is likely to pay a world record fee for a defender.
Should Arsenal sign VVD? Have your say in the comments.
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