Southampton have reportedly received no bids for Virgil van Dijk, who is rumoured to be attracting interest from Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City
According to a report in Daily Echo, Southampton are yet to receive a formal offer for Virgil van Dijk, despite the player handing a transfer request this week. The Dutch centre-back has been heavily linked with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City this summer.
Van Dijk is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the Premier League, having established himself as an instrumental figure for Southampton since making the switch from Celtic in the summer of 2015.
The technically sound Dutchman is often revered for his calm persona on the pitch as well as his prowess in the air – qualities that have helped him attract interest from some of the best clubs in the Premier League. And the leading suitors in the race to sign van Dijk are Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City.
“He’s an amazing player. I was hoping we’d make a bid for him when he was at Celtic.”
Steven Gerrard rates Virgil van Dijk very highly 👊 pic.twitter.com/MWK7g5JIB9
— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) August 10, 2017
Chelsea have already secured the signing of a centre-back – Antonio Rudiger – this summer. Despite the arrival of the German though, the Blues continue to retain their long-held interest in van Dijk even as Antonio Conte has the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Andreas Christensen at his disposal as well.
At Manchester City, Pep Guardiola has Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Otamendi, Eliaquim Mangala and John Stones as his central defensive options. In fact, the latter was only signed last season to be a long-term solution at the heart of defence for the Citizens.
But, he has struggled to adapt to the challenges at the club, and coupled with the inconsistencies of Otamendi and the injury woes suffered by Kompany, the need to sign a centre-back has been accentuated, leading Guardiola to pursue a move for van Dijk.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have been linked the most heavily with the player and their interest has also given way to a lot of controversy. The Reds were warned by the Premier League for the manner in which they courted the 26-year-old following which they were forced to apologise to Southampton.
It was thought that the aforementioned was the end of the Merseyside club’s pursuit of van Dijk, but they have since revived their interest in him. The player, too, is believed to favour a move to Anfield over the rest of his suitors, while Southampton would prefer to sell him to Chelsea, if at all.
📰 Southampton have not received ANY bids for van Dijk. Not Chelsea, Arsenal and especially not from Liverpool (Daily Echo) pic.twitter.com/FewrwrPdQw
— Anything Liverpool (@AnythingLFC_) August 11, 2017
Jurgen Klopp’s current central defensive options do not inspire a lot of confidence with Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan blowing hot and cold last season. Thus, with the objective of finding a more solid partner for Joel Matip, the Liverpool boss has been in hot pursuit of van Dijk.
The Dutch defender, with his abilities in the air, could be an inspired signing for the Reds, who have often struggled in set piece situations on both ends of the pitch. Van Dijk is also likely to secure regular game time at Liverpool, rather than Chelsea and City, which is perhaps why he is eager to move to Anfield.
The player has made his intentions of leaving Southampton clear in recent weeks, training all by himself before handing an official transfer request to the club. Despite van Dijk making it public knowledge that he is seeking pastures though, the Saints are yet to receive any formal offer for him.
Thus, Southampton are increasingly growing confident that the 26-year-old would indeed remain at St. Mary’s beyond the summer, having firmly maintained the stance that he is not for sale. It now remains to be seen if they receive any offer for van Dijk, and if the player gets to complete his desired move to Liverpool.