Virgil van Dijk hints at Southampton exit in January

Holland defender Virgil van Dijk admits he could look at a move away from Southampton when the transfer window opens again in January.

Van Dijk has now been reintegrated into the first-team picture at St Mary's having been training with the development squad after handing in a transfer request at the start of August.

The Dutchman had made it clear he wanted the club to take up the interest from Liverpool, who issued a public apology in June following suggestions of an improper approach for the centre-back.

Van Dijk, though, played in the Premier League matches against Crystal Palace and Stoke before the international break, appearing to now be back in Mauricio Pellegrino's plans.

Despite the apparent reconciliation, the 26-year-old revealed during his preparation for the Oranje's crunch World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Group A rivals Sweden that he may yet review the situation at the turn of the year.

Speaking in an interview with Fox Sports in the Netherlands, Van Dijk said: "I am glad I am fit again and I can give 100 per cent.

"I am not sorry for anything (which happened). Of course, I wanted to make a step up, but Southampton did not want to sell me, but you're a professional, so now I will give everything to the club.

"Halfway through the season, maybe we can see what is possible."

Van Dijk joined Southampton from Celtic in September 2015 and, at the end of his first season, penned a six-year contract which runs until 2022.

Source: PA

Source: Football.co.uk

Virgil van Dijk optimistic of Liverpool move despite Chelsea and Arsenal preparing bids

The Southampton defender is desperate to leave Saints and is not short of offers.

But Mauricio Pellegrino’s side are adamant he won’t be sold before Thursday’s 11pm deadline despite him being exiled from the Argentine’s training regime.

Liverpool remain long-term admirers of Van Dijk and are thought to be prepared to smash their club-record transfer fee to sign him.

And according to the Independent, Van Dijk believes he still has a chance of joining Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.

However, Southampton are refusing to do business with the Reds after the Merseyside outfit were accused of making an illegal approach to sign him earlier in the transfer window.

With Liverpool and Southampton’s negotiations reaching a standstill, Arsenal and Chelsea are keen to take advantage.

Antonio Conte is a big fan of the 26-year-old and believes he would suit his 3-4-3 formation, while Arsenal are in need of defensive reinforcements after taking a 4-0 battering from Liverpool at the weekend.

And the Independent claim Van Dijk’s future could be complicated by late bids from both London clubs.

Van Dijk won’t come cheap though and Arsenal or Chelsea would need to fork out over £70m if Southampton are to even consider selling.

The Dutchman, who hasn’t featured in any of Southampton’s Premier League games this season, is under contract with the south coast club until 2022.

Source: Daily Express

Chelsea must pay crazy fee for Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk - Frank Lampard

Chelsea are in desperate need of new signings with just 14 experienced players currently on their books.

Antonio Conte has admitted the club are working tirelessly behind the scenes to bring in more players before the transfer window shuts on August 31.

And Blues legend Frank Lampard thinks Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk should be their No 1 target, even if they have to pay over the odds.

"If you are looking around for a centre-back, Van Dijk is probably the best there is out there at the moment with Premier League experience and Chelsea should try and get him," Lampard told Yahoo Sport.

"I was watching some video clips of him a few weeks back and when you study him, he is a class act.

"He is powerful in the air, comfortable on the ball, he can command a defence, he has it all.

"John Terry had that presence in the Chelsea defence for a long time and it is hard to find players like that, but Van Dijk has something about him.

"It is often the out-and-out striker who scores the goals and the dominant centre-half that are the two big positions in a team and they are hard to get."

And Lampard thinks Chelsea should go all out to sign the Holland international, even if it means paying crazy money.

"It means you have to pay over the odds for them because they are not easy to find," he added.

"The money being spoken about for him may be high, but we have to accept that the game has gone this way and the figures being talked about now are crazy.

"What seemed crazy figures last summer, don’t look crazy now and I just don’t know how much longer the Premier League can go on like this, but you have to pay these prices to get players right now."

Source: Daily Express

Pellegrino hopes for Van Dijk U-turn over decision to leave Southampton

Mauricio Pellegrino has insisted Southampton will keep trying to persuade Virgil Van Dijk to stay at St Mary's.

Saints' new boss has stressed the club still expect wantaway defender Van Dijk to feature this term, although he will miss Saturday's Premier League opener against Swansea due to a virus.

Dutch defender Van Dijk has submitted a transfer request amid persistent interest from Liverpool, but manager Pellegrino remains adamant Saints will not give up on the former Celtic star.

Van Dijk appears set on forcing a move however, and Pellegrino admitted there could come a point where Southampton may not be able to alter the 26-year-old's stance.

"My reaction is the same that I said three weeks ago: we are expecting him (Van Dijk) to come back, to train with us because we need the players, we need all of them," said the manager.

"Hopefully he can change his point of view. Virgil is an important player and we need him focused on our club."

Asked if Southampton can genuinely retain an unhappy player, Pellegrino said: "But the club was clear from the beginning with the player.

"We can't control every single situation. We can decide our dynamic in this group and Virgil is part of our group; he has a contract.

"He has spoken with (executive director) Les Reed. We've spoken with the player but not too much, a couple of meetings.

"I was clear, the club was clear, he was clear on his position. But we have to keep going because I can't control the thinking or the feeling of the player."

When quizzed on whether Van Dijk would be available for selection this weekend, Pellegrino added: "No, no. Because this week he was with some trouble with a virus and he couldn't train the last two days."

Pellegrino confirmed Saints will continue to chase more new recruits during the transfer window.

Club record signing Mario Lemina could make his competitive debut against Swansea at St Mary's on Saturday, with fellow new arrival Jan Bednarek also in the mix to feature.

Confirming his desire to make further signings, Pellegrino said: "Yes, there are certain positions where we would like to add strength. But we never know because the market is difficult. It's not easy for us.

"For me with Mario (Lemina) it's a mix. He's a defensive midfielder or a box-to-box midfielder and he has quality, strength in the middle. We didn't have this profile of player I think.

"Physically Mario's good, he's been training at Juventus.

"Jan (Bednarek) is a young player that I think has the capability to adapt to the Premier League. And Mario is a player that is coming from one of the biggest clubs in the world.

"We are happy with that. Both of them can help us to be stronger."

Source: PA



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I think Virgil van Dijk is close to joining Liverpool - Former Anfield star Danny Murphy

The Southampton defender was one of Jurgen Klopp's top transfer targets this summer.

But interest in the Netherlands international cooled after Liverpool were accused of trying to illegally approach him.

The Reds' pursuit of him ended in embarrassment with the club being forced to publicly apologise to Saints.

Jurgen Klopp was coy about the Reds reportedly renewing their interest in Van Dijk after his side's 4-0 pre-season win over Tranmere Rovers.

He said: "It would be very wrong to talk about this.”

However, Murphy is confident the defender will end up at Anfield before the transfer window closes.

"Personally, the problem for Liverpool was more defensive (last season),” he told sport.360.com.

“I think the van Dijk thing is close. That would be a phenomenal signing.

“But there's definitely more business to be done at Anfield.”

Liverpool has already been making waves in the transfer window with Mohamed Salah signing in a club-record deal.

Dominic Solanke also joined the Reds on a free transfer from rivals Chelsea.

Klopp is also tracking RB Leipzig midfielder and Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Source: Daily Express

Van Dijk deal close and more to come

Liverpool's signing of Virgil van Dijk is close and there will be more new faces to follow, says former Red Danny Murphy.

After having been warned off the 26-year-old defender by Southampton, Jurgen Klopp now looks set to seal the deal, following reports that the player has demanded a move to Anfield.

“Personally, the problem for Liverpool was more defensive,” Murphy told Sport 360. “I think the van Dijk thing is close. That would be a phenomenal signing, but there's definitely more business to be done at Anfield.

 “My understanding is that they are really trying to push the boat out in bringing new players in to try and compete.

“I suppose the other question is do they need a striker who can get 20 goals a season. Maybe they'll look there as well, we'll have to wait and see.”

Source: DSG


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Virgil van Dijk: Arsenal join Liverpool and Man City in race to sign Southampton defender

Van Dijk has been heavily linked with a move away from Southampton this summer, with the Saints said to be looking for at least £70million to sell.

Liverpool and Manchester City have both registered interest in the defender - and now The Sun claim Arsenal could make a move.

The Gunners have already broken their transfer record this summer to sign striker Alexandre Lacazette as they look to end their 13-year wait for a Premier League title.

Arsene Wenger switched to a three-at-the-back formation towards the end of last season and could look to bolster his options in defence.

However, The Sun suggest Arsenal will struggle to land Van Dijk without Champions League football, having only qualified for the Europa League.

Liverpool looked set to sign the 26-year-old defender before they were forced to publicly end their pursuit.

Southampton reported Liverpool for making an illegal approach for Van Dijk - but reports suggests the Reds could still sign the Dutchman.

Van Dijk joined Southampton in 2015 from Celtic for £13m and is contracted at St Mary's until 2022 after penning a new six-year deal last year.

Southampton executive director Les Reed recently revealed that none of the club's top players are for sale this summer, including Van Dijk.

"None of those players are for sale," he told Sky Sports when asked about Van Dijk and right-back Cedric Soares.

"I can't make it any plainer than that and that's the way we mean to go forward.

"We built this squad over some time and think we have a strong squad. We will fine-tune it but, other than that, we are looking forward to a very competitive season and we plan to go forward on that basis.

"There may be players that go on the basis that it is the right thing for them and the club at that given time.

"But we don't expect that to be wholesale and this is simply doing sound business in the transfer window."

Source: Daily Express

Virgil van Dijk: Everton odds slashed to sign Southampton star, Liverpool still favourites

Everton have wasted no time at all in the transfer window, having spent over £90million on five recruits already this summer.

And Ronald Koeman's side look set to turn their attention to Van Dijk.

The Toffees are about to pocket £75million from the sale of striker Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United in the coming days, which could fund a move for the Southampton defender.

And according to bookmakers Betfair, Everton's odds of signing Van Dijk have been slashed from 50/1 earlier this week to just 7/2.

Van Dijk has emerged as one of the most sought-after defenders in the Premier League this summer.

Everton's Merseyside rivals Liverpool looked set to sign the Holland international before they were forced to end their pursuit.

Southampton reported Liverpool for making an illegal approach for the Dutchman.

But Betfair reckon Liverpool are still the favourites to sign Van Dijk at odds of 11/8.

Southampton executive director Les Reed recently revealed that none of the club's top players are for sale this summer, including Van Dijk.

"None of those players are for sale," he told Sky Sports when asked about Van Dijk and right-back Cedric Soares.

"I can't make it any plainer than that and that's the way we mean to go forward.

"We built this squad over some time and think we have a strong squad. We will fine-tune it but, other than that, we are looking forward to a very competitive season and we plan to go forward on that basis.

"There may be players that go on the basis that it is the right thing for them and the club at that given time.

"But we don't expect that to be wholesale and this is simply doing sound business in the transfer window."

Source: Daily Express

The Great Game - Liverpool say sorry!

You could write a book or even a film about this - oh wait they did in 1953. A comedy no less called the 'The Great Game' starring Thora Hird, Diana Dors, and a cameo role for Tommy Lawton, who made 87 appearances for Everton scoring 65 goals!

The film portrays a chairman of a top-flight English football club who makes an illegal approach to a rising star of a rival club. This being discovered by the football authorities, with the Chairman ultimately suspended from the game following the scandal.

Fast forward 64 years and you have another Merseyside club trying again, attempting to lure Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton without first contacting the club.

It's not the first time Liverpool have been in deep water over 'tapping up' allegations. Liverpool were facing legal action from a schoolboy footballer earlier this year after being banned from signing academy players for at least a year and fined £100,000 for tapping him up and offering him and his family forbidden inducements. The Premier League punished Liverpool after they admitted making an illegal approach to the youngster.

It seems they haven't learnt!

Yesterday they released a statement apologising for the approach, directly to Southampton's board in what can only be assumed a damage limitation exercise.

 

Southampton having already registered a complaint with the Premier League, will want to see some sort of action, whilst Liverpool will be hoping that the Premier League see that the two sides have communicated and settled their differences. I am doubting the latter will happen given Liverpool's history with Southampton players and their previous conduct.

In the 1953 film the chairman is suspended from any football activities. In today's game I expect Southampton will want to see some sort of ban. If this does indeed happen, Klopp is going to rue all those private text messages with Van Dijk and see his transfer window disappear in a vapour cloud, and he will have to try to achieve the impossible with the same squad.

Chelsea will be wanting some retribution for their ban in 2009 for signing Kakuta from Lens. Whilst they completed the transfer, its hard to see that Liverpool would have refrained from signing Van Dijk if they had not been found out!

"Chelsea are banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, for the next two entire and consecutive registration periods,"

The player was also banned for 4 months. Previously they were fined £300,000 for 'tapping up' Ashley Cole from Arsenal, so their previous landed them with a two year transfer ban. Its hard to imagine that Liverpool can hope to escape any sort of retribution from the powers that be, given they have already been warned and dealt with earlier this year!

With the owner John Henry having to step in recognising the seriousness of it all, one has to have a deep look at some of the staff responsible for new players at the club. Maybe a cabinet shuffle is in the offing, I mean they couldn't have timed that more perfectly as newsworthy.

With the interest severed for Van Dijk, Southampton must have had a split second 'sigh of relief' before the gates will have opened for proper tabled bids from the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City. With valuations in the region of £50m - £75m, Van Dijk will need to consider his future carefully. He is the Captain of his club on a 5 year contract. He is potentially facing a new manager with the likes of Tuchel in the frame, who plays his style of football. Does he stay for another year, see where it all goes, and then leap across the water to Real or Barcelona for £100m, or jump into bed with a club that was not his list?

Whatever happens Southampton have to be applauded for saying 'enough is enough' and standing firm. They were becoming the laughing-stock on Merseyside for the mass selling of their players and now the boot is on the other foot, and Klopp must now be pulling at his shirt collar waiting for a response from the powers that be as to their future in the transfer market.