Liverpool pursued Van Dijk, 26, heavily at the start of the summer. But they were forced to apologise to Southampton and dropped their interest in the Dutchman after the south-coast club complained to the Premier League for an "alleged illegal approach," per The Guardian's David Hytner.
As a result, Arsenal should have one fewer competitor for Van Dijk's signature if they decide to make a move for him.
However, Saints will not be willing to let him go easily, as he was arguably the best defender in the Premier League last term before he picked up an injury that ruled him out from January to the end of the season.
Per WhoScored.com, he has produced consistently fine performances in a Saints shirt:
Arsenal had the chance to sign Van Dijk for just £12 million in 2015, but they "stepped back" to allow Southampton to bag him from Celtic, per Read.
He has since proved he has the physicality, concentration and technique required to be an effective Premier League centre-back.
Van Dijk would be a fine addition to Arsenal's defensive ranks, with Laurent Koscielny currently the Gunners' only consistently reliable option at centre-back.