Virgil Van Dijk is on his way to leaving Southampton FC and it looks like it is only a matter of time Saints to sell the player. He has been left out of Southampton pre-season tour after he has told the Saints manager Mauricio Pellegrino that he is “not available to play because he wants to leave”. Liverpool and Manchester City are believed to the the clubs that want to sign him.
Van Dijk has been in a middle of a trader saga, in which Southampton reported Liverpool to the Premier League over an alleged illegal approach for the centre-back. Liverpool have subsequently apologized to the Saints and said they have withdrawn their interest of the player. However, it is believed that the Saints have mismanaged the situation, despite that their management was well aware of the Van Dijk’s desire to be transferred out in order to play for Liverpool or any other club that qualified for the Champions League.
Liverpool want van Dijk, but will Saints talk to them?
Liverpool have been a long term admirers of Virgil van Dijk. They are believed to be ready to break their transfer record and to bring him to Anfield. However, the Reds need Southampton FC to demonstrate a good will and to show their willingness to negotiate and do business with Liverpool. It should be an easy transfer on paper as Reds have bought a number of players from Saints, including Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and most recently Sadio Mane.
Both clubs know each other very well and should have managed to establish a good, working relationship. Whoever negotiates at both ends, probably knows where the other side stands and what they expect when it comes to players’ transfers. Still, Southampton can force Van Dijk to stay for at least another six months if the Saints show their unwillingness to speak to Liverpool on his transfers. Then Reds will not have other option but to drop the Van Dijk’s transfer as if they push for it this would harm a lot their fragile relationship with Southampton.
Mauricio Pellegrino’s appointment as Southampton manager could help?
Pellegrino, who has 12 games as for Liverpool during his career is well aware that Virgil van Dijk wants to leave Southampton. The Saints manager has said in public that the Dutch central defender is not in “psychological” state to play for his club.
“My relationship with Virgil is excellent. I was clear with the boy, and I was talking from the first day with him. The club was clear. The club told me they will not sell Virgil. I communicate the idea of the club to the player and for me it was easy to deal with this because I had to manage the dynamic of the team. Now he is not involved with the team because psychologically he is not 100%. If you are not 100% with the team I need to work with the players who are 100% to defend Southampton. It’s easy for me”, explained the situation Pellegrino. He has had to speak on the issue to the press as he has left Virgil Van Dijk out of the team’s training sessions.
Saints hope that Van Dijk will change his mind and will stay at Southampton. However, the Mauricio Pellegrino knows that it is very likely that the club might need to accept the players decision and to sit on the table to negotiate with the likely buyers. “It is not just the player but behind them is a lot of interests”, said Pellegrino.
At the end of the day, having appointed a new ambitious manager, Southampton might opt in to do the Van Dijk’s transfer in order to cash-in on the player as much as they can and to buy other players who would be motivated to play for Saints and their new coach.
If Virgil Van Dijk makes a move to Liverpool, Man city or to any other club at the transfer price of £60 million, he would become become the world’s most expensive defender.