English Premiership

Van Dijk not for sale, say Saints

2017-08-16 19:48
Virgil van Dijk (Gallo Images)

London - Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk won't be allowed to leave St Mary's in the current transfer window, the Premier League club's chairman Ralph Krueger said on Wednesday.

Van Dijk is a target for Chelsea and Liverpool and the Dutch centre-back handed in a transfer request last week in a bid to engineer a move before the window shuts at the end of August.

Southampton had already asked the Premier League to investigate an alleged illegal approach from Liverpool in June, leading the Reds to publicly drop their interest in the 26-year-old.

But the Holland international remains keen to leave and has been training away from the rest of the Southampton first team squad as he tries to force through a transfer.

Krueger is determined to ensure Southampton aren't damaged by the saga and made it clear Van Dijk would not be allowed to dictate his future to the club.

"Virgil is not for sale in this window and it's not personal," Krueger said.

"It's not about him, it's about an overall much bigger picture, a change of course for Southampton.

"The first summer I was here five players went out and six went in, not counting academy.

"Second summer three went out, seven came in, and third summer five went out, five came in.

"Now it is one out and two in, and this is who we want to become.

"We want to mature, we want to be a team that can profit from synergies that create a much more attractive football and a better product for the fans, and gives us a chance to get back into Europe.

"That's one player in this whole equation of 25 and it is the visible one, but for us it's the principle and it's the path and it's the statement we need to make to get to a new space as a club."

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