Wednesday 21 February 2018

Liverpool target Virgil van Dijk refusing to make the move that could break the deadlock over his future

EXCLUSIVE

Van Dijk has been banished to train on his own. Photo credit: Getty Images
Van Dijk has been banished to train on his own. Photo credit: Getty Images
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk has yet to hand in a formal transfer request that could trigger a move Liverpool, Independent.ie have been told.

Reports have suggested that Van Dijk had formally asked to leave Southampton, which would have forced him to surrender huge cash payment on what is left of his five-year contract with the club, but we have been told that request has not be submitted and he has only asked to leave the club verbally.

Van Dijk is continuing to train away from the first team squad at the Southampton’s Staplewood base after again telling the club he wants to make the move to Liverpool in what were described as ‘tense’ talks between the club, the player and his agent earlier this week.

Van Dijk has set his heart on a move to Liverpool and after holding what are reported to have been ‘detailed negotiations’ with the Anfield club over what the player and his agent hoped would be a £50m summer move.

Yet Saints officials told Van Dijk last May that he would not be allowed to leave, after club officials made a decision not to sell any of their star players for the first summer in several years.

Ryan Bertrand was also the subject of transfer interest from Manchester City, but the England full-back has displayed what Southampton officials describe as ‘great professionalism’ all summer and remains very much a part of the first team squad preparing for the new season under new boss Mauricio Pellegrino.

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Van Dijk missed Saturday’s pre-season game against Sevilla at St Mary’s Stadium as he continues to insist he will not play in the club’s pre-season games and the concern must now be that he will struggle to reintegrate himself back into the Saints first team squad if he does not find a way to get the move he wants in this transfer window.

Southampton fans are unlikely to have been impressed with his very clear attempts to leave the club, with his reputation among the Southampton hierarchy seemingly tarnished beyond repair.

Meanwhile, Liverpool chiefs are powerless to try and push through a move for Van Dijk, as they have promised not to make any fresh attempts to sign the player unless they are given an indication he will be allowed to leave Southampton.

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