Virgil van Dijk has released an official statement regarding his desire to leave Southampton over the summer.
“Unfortunately, I feel I have no alternative after I was given notice of the club’s intention to impose a disciplinary sanction against me of a fine equivalent to two weeks wages,” reads the Dutchman’s statement.
Van Dijk claims that he spent the last six months in discussions with the Southampton board, including Claude Puel, previous Saints boss, and current boss Mauricio Pellegrino over a transfer away from the club.
“I have been left frustrated by the club’s position that I am not for sale and am disappointed that enquiries from multiple top clubs have been consistently rebuffed.”
The 26-year-old revealed a further breakdown in relations with the Southampton board after conversations he assumed private were leaked to the media.
“I have consistently relayed my feelings to senior management at Southampton in what I believed to be private and personal conversations. Disappointingly, these conversations have regularly found their way into the media.”
Van Dijk also expressed gratitude for his time at Southampton, the club who gave him the opportunity to prove himself at Premier League level, and clearly explained his reasons for wanting to move on.
“I am incredibly ambitious and want to achieve as much as I possibly can to fulfil my potential in what is a very short career as a professional footballer. I want to play European football again and challenge for major honours and as such I would like Southampton to consider the interest in me from top clubs should it still exist.”
Liverpool’s pursuit of the Dutchman ended in controversy after allegedly speaking to the player without Southampton’s permission, and though news of his transfer request will fire up a new wave of speculation, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp claims he is content with his current crop of central defenders.
That appears to leave the door open for defending Premier League champions Chelsea, who are prepared to strengthen their backline with a bid for the Dutch international, according to Matt Law of The Telegraph.