Virgil van Dijk has handed in a transfer request at South coast side Southampton, following speculation about his future at the club. Liverpool and Chelsea are the two clubs currently expressing interest, despite the Reds’ illegal approach back in June.
On Monday, the Dutch defender released a statement explaining his situation and his desire to leave the Saints:
“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.
“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.”
Full statement from Virgil van Dijk.
"I would like Southampton to consider the interest in me from top clubs should it still exist." 👀 pic.twitter.com/rh6BfUs0om
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) August 7, 2017
Virgil van Dijk hands in Transfer Request
The 26-year-old has previously stated that he wants to play under Klopp at Liverpool. This news may now trigger a bid from the Anfield side for the Netherlands International. Meanwhile, rumours are that Chelsea will match any Liverpool bid for the centre-back. Antonio Conte has been left frustrated by the Blues’ transfer business this summer.
Despite Chelsea’s interest, the likely situation that remains is that van Dijk signs for Liverpool, following the mutual interest between both parties. The Merseyside club can now offer him European Football, after their fourth place finish in the 2016/17 Premier League table. The Dutchman would be a huge signing for Liverpool. Defence is the weakest area of the Liverpool squad, conceding 42 goals in the previous league campaign. Van Dijk would go a long way to suring up a shaky defence. His acquisition would cement a centre-back partnership with Joel Matip in the heart of the Reds’ back line.
The 26-year-old netted three goals in all competitions for Southampton last season. He has proven in his time at Celtic as well to be someone who can take set pieces and score goals in transition. A tall, solid and consistent defender; van Dijk has in fact turned out to be one of the best defenders in the Premier League.
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – MARCH 20: Divock Origi of Liverpool and Virgil van Dijk of Southampton during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool on March 20, 2016 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images)