By Wayne Veysey

13th Aug, 2017 | 5:36pm

Odds slashed: Liverpool huge 1/3 favourites to sign 26-year-old after weekend development

By Harry Sykes

The odds on Liverpool signing Virgil van Dijk by the end of the month have been slashed to 1/3, according to bookmakers.

Sky Bet priced the Merseyside giants as overwhelming favourites on Sunday evening to land the Southampton defender before the transfer window cut-off.

Liverpool are far shorter than second favourites Chelsea, who are a relatively distant 5/1, while Manchester City have been backed out to 16/1.

The Van Dijk market has fluctuated during the summer as a result of the transfer saga that has led to him being frozen out at Southampton.

He was priced at 4/7 earlier this week to move to Liverpool but the price has tumbled after the Holland international was not involved in his side’s 0-0 draw against Swansea at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday.

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Sky Sports claim on their website that Liverpool are on course to prise the centre-back from Southampton despite publicly bowing out of the race to sign him.

Liverpool issued a public apology to the Saints in June and withdrew from their pursuit of the giant defender after being reported to the Premier League over an illegal approach.

However, Sky report that Van Dijk still has his heart set on a move to Anfield even though he signed a new Saints contract last summer that runs until the summer of 2022.

Football Insider verdict:

Given Van Dijk’s absence from Southampton’s team and the noises emanating from those close to him, it is clear that his move to Liverpool is not dead in the water. Far from it. Chelsea and Man City offer potential other destinations, but, crucially, the player’s current stance is that he will only be satisfied with a transfer to Anfield. That gives Liverpool hope they can still pull off a deal that would solve their need for a commanding centre-back, and would sent their fanbase – desperate to see Jurgen Klopp assemble a squad capable of mounting an extended title challenge – into meltdown.

In other Liverpool transfer news, Jamie Redknapp has been blown away by a teenager at the club who he claims can clean up in 2017-18.

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