Not for sale
Southampton have all but ended Virgil van Dijk’s hopes of leaving the club, with the club’s chairman claiming he will not be going anywhere, and more than that, the defender will be expected to come back into the fold and try his best once the transfer window speculation has ended.
Quite what the player himself thinks of that remains to be seen, given he made it very clear in a strongly worded statement that he wanted to leave the club and felt he had been denied the chance to do so, with interest from Liverpool and Chelsea – not to mention Manchester City – strongly rumoured all summer.
The Mirror report chairman Ralph Krueger said: “Nobody is for sale that we don’t want to sell and so he is not for sale in this window. We have said it more than once.
“Mauricio Pellegrino has done an amazing job of dealing with this situation. It has not disrupted our team.
“It is not in any way caused a lack of focus in training, in the locker room, and of course everybody will open their arms when Virgil comes back and we go at it.”
It had been rumoured a club record transfer fee could see the player leave, yet that no longer seems to be the case, and while Liverpool fans fume at the Saints for failing to allow van Dijk to leave, they are doing the same with Philippe Coutinho, who is desperate to leave for Barcelona.
It’s now thought the player would be willing to go on strike in order to leave – something that would not go down well at all with the fans or manager Jurgen Klopp, who of course claimed the player would be staying, just hours before an official transfer request was submitted to the club.