Chelsea and Liverpool have been dealt a massive transfer blow in race for Virgil Van Dijk, as Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger has reiterated the club’s stance that Dutchman is not for sale, despite the centre-back submitting a transfer request.
Last week, Van Dijk, who joined the Saints from Scottish giants Celtic back in 2015, criticised the club for not allowing him to move on.
Liverpool were favourites to sign the 26-year-old powerhouse, but earlier in the summer, the Merseyside giants were forced to withdraw their interest and publicly apologise after being accused of tapping up.
Even though the Netherlands international has made his intentions clear, the the Saints’ hierarchy are not prepared to weaken their stance.
“Virgil is not for sale in this window and it’s not personal,” the Liverpool Echo quotes Krueger as saying. “It’s not about him, it’s about an overall much, much, much bigger picture – a change of course for Southampton.
“The first summer I was here five players went out and six went in, not counting academy. Second summer three went out, seven came in, and third summer five went out, five came in.
“Now it is one out and two in, and this is who we want to become. We want to mature, we want to be a team that can profit from synergies that create a much more attractive football and a better product for the fans, and gives us a chance to get back into Europe.”
Antonio Conte’s Chelsea have also been touted as potential suitors for Virgil Van Dijk, who is reportedly valued at £70m.