Virgil van Dijk skips training as he continues to push for Liverpool move
Virgil van Dijk is not currently training with Southampton after claiming he has been struck down by a virus, as he continues to agitate for a move to Liverpool.
The Dutch defender has made it clear to Southampton on several occasions that he wants to leave the club this summer and seal a move to Anfield, even though Saints officials have yet to receive any offers from Liverpool for the player.
Van Dijk and his agent set up a deal to transfer the player this summer after meetings with Liverpool officials that were not sanctioned by Southampton, with the Anfield club forced to issue an apology for their approach when they were revealed.
Now Van Dijk is effectively on strike, with Southampton fining the player for refusing to play in pre-season games earlier this week, even though he had been training away from the first team squad up to that point.
New Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino has given an update on the current position, with Van Dijk’s absence from training likely to be adding to the animosity between the player, his agent and the club.
Van Dijk handed in an transfer request in a bid to force a move to Liverpool, but Pellegrino has again insisted the club have no intention of selling him.
“We are expecting him to come back to train with us because we need the player,” said Pellegrino. “Hopefully he can change his point of view because we need him to be with us.
“Virgil is an important player and we need him focusing on our club. The club was clear from the beginning with the player. Virgil is part of our club, he has a contract and now we are waiting for him.
“We have had a couple of meetings. The club was clear, the player is in his position, but I can’t control the feeling of the player.”
sundayworld.com understands that Van Dijk will not be allowed to seal his switch to Liverpool this summer as relations between the two clubs are strained, but there may be scope for a move to Chelsea if the Stamford Bridge club made a suitable offer in excess of £70m.