Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk has handed in a transfer request to Premier League club Southampton, as the saga continues to linger on this summer. The defender has gone on to claim that he has been insulted by the Saints, by issuing a lengthy statement.
The 26-year-old former Celtic player is being chased by a number of Premier League giants, included the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, and Chelsea. He was a long-term target mainly for Liverpool, as reports had earlier stated that the in-form defender had wished to play for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Van Dijk also claimed in the letter that he is acting after having “numerous” discussions during the past six months about his wish to depart from St. Mary’s.
Last month, Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino asked the defender to train alone, before stating recently that the player is not for sale, despite the Holland international not wanting to feature for the club.
In his statement, the player claimed that as a professional, he was insulted, and it is important to highlight the events that folded. He revealed: “As a proud professional I am insulted by the suggestion that it was me who refused to train and so feel it is important to point out the true version of events.”
The Dutchman joined Southampton in 2015, and after a series of strong performances, he turned out to be one of the hottest properties in the transfer market. He went on to sign a 6-year contract in May 2016, as Southampton looked desperate to keep hold of their key asset.
He also stated that the Saints should consider his sale, as he has grown frustrated with the club’s stance.
“I would like Southampton to consider the interest in me from top clubs should it still exist. I have been left frustrated by the club’s position that I am not for sale and am disappointed that enquiries from multiple top clubs have been consistently rebuffed,” he added.
Earlier this summer, the Saints reported Liverpool to the authorities for making an illegal approach for the player. Following that incident, the Reds ended their interest in Van Dijk, which now leaves Chelsea and Man City to go for the kill and secure the services of a player they consider to bolster their defence with proven quality.
Written by Rajdeep Saha
Sports journalist with stints across print, digital and television. Contribution to each medium has been thrilling. Experienced in writing for this passionate game called football. Journalist by choice and passion.