Revealed - What Southampton told Virgil van Dijk about his dream move to Liverpool
Southampton remain determined to stop their defender Virgil van Dijk completing a dream move to Liverpool this summer, Independent.ie understands.
Liverpool were forced to issue an apology to Southampton earlier this summer after they were found to have made an unsolicited approach to sign Van Dijk, with the latest vibes emerging are the south coast club suggesting animosity remains between the two clubs.
There also appears to be increasingly strained relations between Van Dijk’s management company and Southampton, with the Dutch centre-back represented by the same group that oversaw Ronald Koeman’s contentious departure as Saints manager last summer prior to his move to Everton.
Van Dijk and his advisers made a bold move to hasten his departure from Southampton on Monday, when he submitted a transfer request that would see him give up millions of pounds in bonus money that would be owed on his current contract, which still has give years to run.
“Over the past six months I have held numerous discussions with representatives of the board, the former manager Claude Puel as well as the new manager Mauricio Pellegrino to inform them all of my desire to leave the club in search of a new challenge,” the statement read.
“I am incredibly ambitious and want to achieve as much as I possibly can to fulfil my potential in what is a very short career as a professional footballer. I want to play European football again and challenge for major honours and as such I would like Southampton to consider the interest in me from top clubs should it still exist.
“I have been left frustrated by the club’s position that I am not for sale and am disappointed that enquiries from multiple top clubs have been consistently rebuffed.
“The period of time that I have just spent injured and unable to play has put a number of things into perspective and made me realise just how important it is to take major opportunities should they arise.”
Chelsea and Manchester City are also reported to have spoken to Van Dijk’s representatives earlier this year and if Southampton remain firm in their determination not to consider any deal with Liverpool for the player, it may be that their Premier League rivals now eye up a move for the defender.
Given the current state of the transfer market and the inflated prices being paid for defenders this summer, Independent.ie understands that Southampton would expect a fee in excess of £70m if they were to consider selling Van Dijk.
Yet their public stance remains that the player is not for sale, even after his transfer request was submitted in such a public fashion.