Southampton manager still hopeful of van Dijk stay
Despite the Southampton captain Virgil van Dijk having handed in a transfer request this week, manager Mauricio Pellegrino is still hopeful that the Dutch defender will stay at the club.
Van Dijk appeared frustrated with the club in his statement and asked them to consider the interest in him from other clubs. He also responded to rumours that he had refused to train for Southampton, stating that was not true.
Whilst the 26-year-old has been ruled out of the opening weekend, Pellegrino maintains that van Dijk is an important player for The Saints. He told reporters "My reaction is the same that I said three weeks ago: we are expecting him to come back, to train with us because we need the players, we need all of them. Hopefully he can change his point of view."
Liverpool and Chelsea have been the two teams that have been most heavily linked with van Dijk, but Southampton continue to insist that they do not need to sell the former Celtic defender.
Van Dijk still has five years remaining on his Southampton contract and the south coast club are looking to steer away from their reputation as a selling club.