Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk is unhappy at Southampton. According to new manager Mauricio Pellegrino, the Dutchman’s heart is not at the club and has therefore not been taking part in training sessions. According to The Guardian, Soton have made it clear that they will not sell the player, but van Dijk is desperate to play his football elsewhere next season.
Pellegrino, who was appointed manager at St. Mary’s last month, stated that the 26 year-old is not in the right frame of mind to play, and wants to leave. The centre-back is set to be left out of Southampton’s trip to France to face St. Etienne in a friendly next week. Van Dijk’s performances last season earned him plaudits from around the world, and he is valued at around £60 million in the transfer market. Liverpool were a bit too aggressive earlier on in the summer in trying to sign him, leading to Southampton submitting an official complaint to the Premier League over illegal pursuit. Chelsea and Antonio Conte are also reportedly interested in signing the former Celtic man.
Pellegrino had the following to say regarding the situation:
“The boy said that he is not available to play because he wants to leave. This is the decision. I had to say, ‘If you don’t want to be involved because you don’t feel okay then you have to train alone until this period of time is over.”
Liverpool’s defence was a clear weakness last season, and Jurgen Klopp has looked to address those woes by signing Andy Robertson from Hull City. However, it feels like they are still lacking quality in that area and van Dijk could be the answer. The Reds signed Dejan Lovren from Southampton in 2014, but the Croatian has not been an out-and-out success and Anfield just yet.
Chelsea have signed Antonio Rudiger at the back, but with the departures of John Terry, Nathan Ake on permanent deals and Nathan Ake on loan, they still could do with some reinforcements.