Southampton provide update on Liverpool and Chelsea target Virgil van Djik’s future

Virgil van Dijk

Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger is adamant that Dutch defender Virgil van Djik is not for sale this summer.

Van Djik, who is heavily pursued by Premier League giants Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City, handed in a formal transfer request earlier this month in his bid to force his way out of the South Coast club.

However, Saints chairman Ralph Krueger has suggested that the club have not changed their stance over the centre back’s future as they seek to change their transfer policy.

Ralph Krueger said: “Virgil is not for sale in this window and it’s not personal,”

“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.

“That’s one player in this whole equation of 25 and it is the visible one, but for us it’s the principle and it’s the path and it’s the statement we need to make to get to a new space as a club.

“We are very, very adamant about carrying this through. The new partnership has completely and wholly backed our strategy and plan and on September 1 people will see how serious we were and are.”

The 26-year-old Dutch defender was previously targeted by Liverpool but the Reds were forced to end their interest after Southampton reported them to the Premier League over an alleged tapping case, although recent reports suggest that the Merseyside club have maintained their interest in signing van Dijk this summer.

Van Dijk has been training separately from the first team squad but Southampton chairman insists that the former Celtic man can swiftly return to the side if the Saints persuade him to prolong his stay at the club.

“Well, first of all, they have experienced it here before on multiple occasions and it hasn’t been a problem,” Krueger said.

“I can go back to Morgan Schneiderlin in our first summer and I could list others, but let’s not do that. We’ve had other examples of that where it was no problem, so I don’t see that as a problem.”