March 23, 2018

Dick Advocaat urges Southampton to grant Virgil van Dijk move to Liverpool

08 August 2017, 12:51 | Kristopher Drake

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Southampton's Virgil van Dijk celebrates scoring during the Europa League group K stage soccer match between Southampton and Internazionale at St. Mary's Stadium in Southampton England. Liverpool

Virgil van Dijk was a target for Liverpool earlier this summer, but the Reds withdrew their interest after Southampton complained to the Premier League over an alleged illegal approach.

France global Sakho is expected to be moved on, with could alter Klopp's stance, but for now Van Dijk is generating stronger links to reigning Premier League champions Chelsea than title hopefuls at Anfield.

"What I said is the truth", he said.

"It is with regret that I can confirm that I have today handed in a transfer request to leave Southampton".

The 26-year-old has been training away from the Southampton first team and played no part in their pre-season matches having told manager Mauricio Pellegrino he wants to leave the club.

"I am incredibly ambitious and want to achieve as much as I possibly can to fulfil my potential in what is a very short career as a professional footballer", he said in a statement.

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Van Dijk also accuses Southampton of leaking their side of stories to make him look unprofessional.

He added: "I'm happy". Disappointingly, these conversations have regularly found their way into the media.

"I have never once refused to train, I was open and honest about my frame of mind and I did not feel I was in a settled mindset".

Klopp can not believe his own words when he claims he is "happy" with his squad and doesn't need too many more additions ahead of a season that may include a glut of high octane Champions League games, and what he hopes will be a Premier League title challenge. He has two-and-a-half weeks to find a new club.

But Van Dijk's worldwide manager says he has sympathy for his countryman.

The Reds had to formally end their interest, after all, though the suspicion remains that this was a PR move rather than a genuine end to their efforts to secure the services of van Dijk.

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