Despite his transfer request, Virgil van Dijk could spend the season on the sidelines, with Southampton prepared to keep hold of the 26-year-old, reports Gary Jacobs in the Times.
Two days ago, van Dijk released a statement which seemed to effectively end his Saints career – suggesting they were holding him at the club against his will and were fining him unfairly.
Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea are keen, but this report suggests Southampton’s stance hasn’t changed – and they’re still adamant the Dutchman is not for sale.
In an unprecedented move, Jacobs thinks Southampton making a point that they can no longer be bullied into selling players by keeping van Dijk and not playing him is a possibility.
The centre-back has five years on his contract and after letting Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane, Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren and Rickie Lambert join Liverpool – Southampton may have had enough.
Van Dijk wants to move to Liverpool, but due to his contract situation, Southampton are still in a position of power – transfer request or no request.