Thursday 24 August 2017

Southampton deliver a defiant statement on the future of Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk has asked to leave Southampton
Virgil van Dijk has asked to leave Southampton
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Southampton have again made it clear that they have no intention of selling defender Virgil van Dijk this summer, despite a stream of transfer stories linking the Dutchman with a move to Liverpool and Chelsea.

Liverpool were forced to issue an apology to Southampton after their aggressive tactics to sign Van Dijk back-fired as they were reported to the Football Association for an illegal approach of the player last month.

The Anfield club insisted they would end their interest in Van Dijk as part of their apology, but rumours persisted that they would launch a fresh bid for the defender.

Chelsea are also believed to be keen to sign Van Dijk, even it is believe his fee is likely to exceed £65m would be needed to tempt Southampton into a sale.

Yet Southampton executive director Les Reed has stated once again that his club do not need to sell Van Dijk this summer they have no intention of sanctioning a deal.

“None of those players are for sale. I can't make it any plainer than that and that's the way we mean to go forward," stated Reed.

“We built this squad over some time and think we have a strong squad. We will fine-tune it but, other than that, we are looking forward to a very competitive season and we plan to go forward on that basis.

“There may be players that go on the basis it is the right thing for them and the club at that given time.

“But we don't expect that to be wholesale and this is simply doing sound business in the transfer window.”

New Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino has been informed that he does not need to sell any players, even if Van Dijk has made it clear that he wants to leave the club this week.

“We don't believe we need to turn over players every year just to freshen things up,” added Reed.

“We've got a strong squad now and it would be about adding players bringing more value and power.”

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