Southampton’s star defender suffered an ankle injury in their 3-0 win against Leicester on Sunday in the Premier League as he failed to complete the match.
And following scans yesterday, the extent of the blow has revealed a serious problem for Claude Puel.
Virgil van Dijk will not play again for Southampton until at least April
The Saints lead the tie 1-0, but even a return in time for a Wembley final is off the cards, as according to The Sun, the Dutchman is expected to be out until mid-April.
Depending on his recovery when undergoing rehab, Van Dijk may not even feature again until the final month of the season.
With fellow central defender and club captain Jose Fonte having just been sold to West Ham, Southampton are now seriously light at the back.
Chelsea were very interested in making a move worth £60million
While it’s a boost for Liverpool ahead of tonight’s showdown, the Reds along with a host of Premier League sides will now end a January pursuit of the 25-year-old.
Express Sport understands Chelsea were very interested in making a £60million move for the highly-rated former Celtic man this month.
Elsewhere, Pep Guardiola wanted to bring Van Dijk to Manchester City as a long-term replacement for injury-prone Vincent Kompany.
Antonio Conte wanted to bring Virgil van Dijk to Chelsea to bolster his defence
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Everton were also keeping tabs, as manager Ronald Koeman worked with him at St Mary’s.
But any potential for an exit before the transfer window closes is now over.
However, Chelsea, City, Everton and Liverpool may reignite their interest in the summer when Van Dijk returns.
Following the big blow, Southampton could look to sign at least one centre-half before Tuesday’s deadline, and a move for Liverpool outcast Mamadou Sakho has already been mooted.