Sunday 16 June 2019

'People don't know what really happened' - Virgil van Dijk opens up on his £75m move to Liverpool

Virgil van Dijk is keen to justify his record fee
Virgil van Dijk is keen to justify his record fee
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Virgil van Dijk has suggested the real story behind his big money move from Southampton to Liverpool in January has yet to be told. exclusively broke the news that Southampton had agreed a deal to sell Van Dijk to Liverpool on December 23rd, with the £75m transfer confirmed a few days later.

The transfer was finally completed after Van Dijk tried to force through a move to Liverpool last summer, with his transfer request rejected by Southampton who decided to block any move for the Dutchman despite his pleas to move to Anfield.

Now Van Dijk has hinted that there is more to the transfer than has been made public, with told by sources close to Southampton in January that they were surprised by Liverpool's sudden decision to pay the asking price after the Anfield club initially suggested they would not pay a world record fee for a defender.

While Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp denied that Philippe Coutinho's move to Barcelona had provided him with the cash to complete the Van Dijk deal, the Dutch defender has now suggested there is more to be told from a transfer that collapsed after he and his agent held talks with Liverpool in early 2017 without permission from Southampton.

"People don't know what really happened," Van Dijk told the BBC. "I kept my head down and kept playing. I was out for eight months and was just happy to play again.

"I just switched on again after the transfer window in the summer. I didn't think about anything until I got a phone call from the Southampton board."

Van Dijk also gave his views on his first few weeks at Anfield, as he has made a big impression in Klopp's in-form side.

"I came here to achieve everything possible," added Van Dijk. "I made the choice to come here base on everything. I love the fans, the atmosphere in the stadium and at away games. The quality we have in our team is unbelievable. I am proud and happy to be here.

"Klopp is very good and an amazing guy as well. A lot of the attributes he has makes us achieve good things in the future."

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