Saturday 18 November 2017

Revealed - The surprise fact after a summer of transfer speculation over Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk won't be leaving Southampton in this window
Virgil van Dijk won't be leaving Southampton in this window
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Southampton did not receive a single formal offer for defender Virgil van Dijk during this summer’s transfer window, Independent.ie has been told.

Southampton made a decision not to sell Van Dijk in this transfer window and they have stood by that decision, with an anticipated offer from Liverpool not forthcoming on transfer deadline day.

Van Dijk staged unsolicited talks with Liverpool and two other Premier League clubs earlier this year, with Southampton reporting the Anfield club to the Football Association for their approach to the Dutch defender.

That led to a warning from the FA that sanctions would be taken against Liverpool if they broke a pledge not to make any further moves to sign Van Dijk ahead of the transfer deadline, with no bids received by the south coast club before the 11pm deadline.

Saints sporting director Les Reed spent most of the day at the club’s Staplewood training base, yet he has held firm in his club’s stance that Van Dijk would not leave in this transfer window, with a move to Liverpool ruled out several weeks ago.

Yahoo Sport were the first to report earlier this month that a fee in excess of £70m may be enough to consider Southampton to sell Van Dijk, but selling to Liverpool after the events earlier this year would never have been considered at any price despite constant speculation linking the player with a move to Merseyside.

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We understand that Southampton are now hoping Van Dijk can be reintegrated into the first-team set-up and show commitment to the club, with the door to Mauricio Pellegrino’s first-team squad very much open.

Van Dijk has been training with the club’s under-23 players in recent weeks, with the transfer request he handed in to the club at the start of August and the strongly statement that came with it further souring relations between the player, his management company and the club.

If Van Dijk does not return to the first team fold, he may be asked to play in the club’s Checkatrade Trophy matches, but there remains a hope that he will ‘now re-engage’ with his first team colleagues and make himself available to play in Southampton’s next Premier League game against Watford on September 9th.

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