Pellegrino ready spend Van Dijk cash when opportunities arise

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With the defender's move to Liverpool set to go through on January 1, the Southampton boss is ready to splash the cash

Mauricio Pellegrino hopes the funds from the sale of Virgil van Dijk can help Southampton bolster their ranks when the transfer window opens.

Van Dijk will complete his long-awaited move to Liverpool on January 1 after the clubs agreed a reported £75 million deal for the Netherlands international.

Such a huge transfer fee – a record outlay for the Reds – will boost Southampton's coffers and Pellegrino intends to use it to lure a number of players to St Mary's Stadium.

"Without Virgil we have to try and think about the future and bring to the squad a couple of targets to improve and try to be stronger," he said.

"We never know [how busy they will be] because I can't control the market. It depends the possibilities we will have.

"It's not easy because in December important players are not easy to bring [in]. We have opportunities and we have to be ready."

In Van Dijk's absence Southampton kept their first clean sheet since October against Manchester United and Pellegrino was pleased with their 0-0 stalemate at Old Trafford.

"We are really pleased because it wasn't just important to get a point, it was important the way we competed in this pitch with personality and with character," Pellegrino added.

"Manchester United were never comfortable on the pitch and this is something that is good for us, because after Tottenham we needed to do something to try to grow.

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"I felt there were 11 players, fighting, keeping the ball and we had some chances to try to win. This is really good news for us.

"It's good for everybody. The last clean sheet was against West Brom I think so it's important to try to be more solid and it gives confidence to everyone.

"Right now we have to be positive and use this performance for the future, because we have another big game coming up on Tuesday [against Crystal Palace]."

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