PL chief issues hands-off, 25-year-old reported Liverpool target going nowhere
By Danny Wright
Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger has stated that Virgil van Dijk is going nowhere in the foreseeable future.
De Telegraaf reported in December that Liverpool were sending scouts to watch the Saints centre-back ahead of a possible summer bid.
However, Krueger has now re-iterated how important the defender is and how committed he is to the club.
“Virgil is committed to us for a long time and we don’t see anything but that in our future,” said Krueger to TalkSport.
“We will be sitting together in a few weeks to look at our summer transfer window and what the plans are.
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“At the moment, Virgil is very committed to us. He is our team captain and we see him in our red and white stripes.”
The former Celtic man is currently out with an injury and has not played for Southampton since January 22, missing their EFL Cup final defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.
The 25-year-old is one of the most sought-after defenders in the Premier League after putting in a series of impressive performances for Southampton since joining from Celtic in 2015.
According to a report in De Telegraaf, the player has a £25m release clause in his Southampton contract.
Liverpool’s 3-1 loss to struggling Leicester on Monday is the latest hint that the club may be in need of new defensive options.
The Merseyside club are no stranger to signing players from Southampton having struck up deals for Sadio Mane, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana in recent seasons.
Football Insider Verdict
If Liverpool are still looking to pursue van Dijk then they won’t be put off by this declaration from the Southampton chairman. If reports are true, van Dijk has a £25m release clause in his contract and if big clubs come knocking offering Champions League football, it’s unlikely that van Dijk will turn them down to stay on the south coast. Southampton obviously want to keep their strongest players but in this instance they might not have much choice. All they can do is keep making the right noises in the hope that van Dijk is enjoying his time at the club and buys into the long-term plans.
In other Liverpool news, former manager Roy Evans has slammed the club after their loss to Leicester.