Southampton Confirm Van Dijk Still Wants to Leave, Pellegrino Insists Saints Won’t Sell
Looking to finally end his ongoing exile from the Southampton first team, the South Coast club held showdown talks with Virgil van Dijk over his request to leave the St. Mary’s Stadium, but it appears there wasn’t all that much to say with the 26-year old re-iterating his desire to move to Merseyside.
“I would like to bring the boy and to persuade him that he’s important for us and the club will not sell him,” explained Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino. “We are expecting the best for everyone, even for Virgil, but he doesn’t want to be part of the team,” continued the Argentine, confirming that the want-away defender is holding a firm line. “This is the reason he is aside from the team.”
Liverpool have kept things close after narrowly avoiding a tapping up charge for their pursuit of Southampton’s captain, but it’s believed that not only will be the first ones ringing up the Saints should they welcome bids, but they’re also the only club that Van Dijk wants to move to. After signing a new contract last Spring, the club have the Dutchman by the short and curlies — a fact that has made negotiating an exit all the more difficult.
“We continue in the same way,” said Pellegrino, already sounding resigned to losing the player. “The situation is the same,” added the Southampton manager. “I can’t say no more, because the situation is the boy is aside of the team because he doesn’t want to play for us.”