Southampton make their stance known after another round of Virgil van Dijk transfer rumours
Southampton are adamant that club captain Virgil van Dijk will not be sold before the transfer window closes on Thursday despite interest from Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal.
The Dutch defender, who has been training with the club’s Under-23 squad has been embroiled in an acrimonious stand-off with Southampton since Liverpool expressed an interest in him earlier this summer.
Van Dijk attempted to push through his departure by issuing a formal transfer request and publishing a statement condemning the club’s handling of his future after Southampton questioned his frame of mind and asked the Premier League to investigate whether Liverpool had breached any rules in their approach for the player.
Southampton have been unwavering in their stance that they would not sell their club captain, who agreed a new six-year contract with them only last year.
However, in rapidly accelerating transfer market, a conservative estimate would place Van Dijk’s value at upwards of £50m and it remains to be seen whether the Saints could refuse an offer of such magnitude for a player that has expressed a desire to leave.
Despite a public show of discord between player and club, midfielder Steven Davis insists that Van Dijk remains a popular figure within the dressing room and any antipathy towards the 26-year-old would be cast aside if he is still at St. Mary’s on Friday.
“That door has never been shut,” Davis said.
“There has been a lot made of the situation outside the club that isn’t necessarily true all the time but we will welcome him back. He’s a top quality player and he’s done well for us over the last couple of seasons.
“Everybody knows the quality that Virgil has got and what he can bring to the team and we’re obviously hopeful that we can keep hold of him and he can come back into the team and challenge for a place again because he’s a top quality centre half.”