Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk has issued a statement as he looks to force a move away from the club.
The defender – who is reportedly a target for both Liverpool and Chelsea – has handed in a transfer request at St.Mary’s in a bold bid to make his way to a new club.
Van Dijk’s statement reads, as per Sky Sports:
“It is with regret that I can confirm that I have today handed in a transfer request to leave Southampton.
“Unfortunately I feel I have no alternative after I was given notice of the club’s intention to impose a disciplinary sanction against me of a fine equivalent to two weeks’ wages. I will be appealing what I feel to be an unjustified sanction and their inability to follow the correct disciplinary protocol in due course.
“Over the past six months I have held numerous discussions with representatives of the board, the former manager Claude Puel as well as the new manager Mauricio Pellegrino to inform them all of my desire to leave the club in search of a new challenge.”
“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. I want to play European football again and challenge for major honours and, as such, I would like Southampton to consider the interest in me from top clubs should it still exist.”
Liverpool are believed to be the Dutch centre-half’s preferred destination, but the Reds could be cautious in their approach of the defender as an earlier enquiry led to them issuing an apology to the Saints and ”formally ending their interest.”
Chelsea and Manchester City are also said to be interested – and with Van Dijk re-affirming his desire to play European football, one would imagine the defender’s decision could be swayed by whoever is the most ambitious in terms of their European ambition.
Southampton’s position remains unchanged despite Van Dijk openly expressing his discontent – but it looks unlikely that we will see him line out for the Saints again, and it’s quite possible Van Dijk could be lining out for one of the top six come September.
Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena.