Tuesday 17 October 2017

Virgil van Dijk made another step in bid to force move to Liverpool

EXCLUSIVE

The future of Virgil van Dijk remains a hot topic at Southampton
The future of Virgil van Dijk remains a hot topic at Southampton
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk has not been working with the agent that finalised his six-year contract with the Saints last summer 'for several months', amid claims that he will need to overcome a clause in that contract if he wants to finalise a move in this transfer window, Independent.ie have been told.

The Dutch defender signed a long-term contract with Southampton last summer, which is believed to have included a clause that would ensure he would not move for at least TWO years.

Yet he has made it clear that he wanted to complete a move to Liverpool in this transfer window, sparking a high-profile stand-off between the player and Southampton chiefs.

Van Dijk is represented by the same management company that also looks after former Southampton boss Ronald Koeman, who left the south coast club in acrimonious circumstances to take over at Everton last summer.

So when Southampton discovered that Van Dijk’s advisers had already held unsolicited talks over a big money move with Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City, the lingering animosity between Saints and the management company was re-ignited.

Southampton insiders believe Van Dijk’s decision was swayed by Liverpool offering a bigger overall package to the player and his agent, yet a deal was never going to be sanctioned after Anfield chiefs were forced to issue an apology to Southampton for their illegal approach.

Southampton have made it clear that they are not intending to sell any of their star names this summer as they look to ‘make a statement’ not refusing to buckle to the Dutch defender’s antics.

Van Dijk has not been training with the Southampton first team squad all summer and has vowed not to play for the club again, but Saints chairman Ralph Krueger has confirmed he will not get his wish to move before Thursday’s transfer deadline.

“Virgil is not for sale in this window and it’s not personal,” Krueger said.

“It’s not about him, it’s about an overall much, much, much bigger picture - a change of course for Southampton.

“We will not sell players we don’t want to leave this summer. We are very, very adamant about carrying this through.”

Despite reports in recent days that Van Dijk and his new agent have held talks with Chelsea and Arsenal, we were told last night that Southampton remain determined to block any sale until the January transfer window at the earliest.

With ill-feeling lingering between the two clubs following their extensive contact with Van Dijk and his agent, Southampton are still determined to block any deal with Liverpool for the player in the coming days.

So it may be that Van Dijk is forced to accept he will need to come back into the fold at Southampton until January at least, with the duration of his stand-off with the club making for an uncomfortable conclusion to this transfer saga if he is still a Saints player on Friday morning.

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