Virgil van Dijk: defender has ‘no regrets’ over transfer request

Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk has insisted that he has “no regrets” over his failed transfer request submitted in hopes of a move to Liverpool, and reiterated his desire to leave, possibly in January.

Van Dijk, 26, submitted a transfer request in August and made it plain he wanted a move to Anfield.

However, Southampton reported Liverpool to the Premier League for an alleged illegal approach in June as the transfer collapsed and the Merseyside club were forced into apology.

In a bid to defuse the situation, the Reds also promised they would back away from the former Celtic player as Southampton refused to buckle during the summer window. In the struggle, van Dijk, who also signed a new six-year contract in May 2016, was ordered by club coach Mauricio Pellegrino to train alone in July.

However, he had since made his way back into the Saints first-team, beginning with a substitute appearance against Crystal Palace and then finally making a start on Saturday but gave away a penalty in a 2-1 defeat at Stoke City.

The Dutch defender, who was signed from Celtic for £13m in September 2013, even went on to reignite speculation of a departure from St. MAry’s while on international duty.

“Halfway through the season, maybe we can see what’s possible,” he said.

On the failed switch to Merseyside, he added: “I have no regrets. I wanted to go one step up, but eventually Southampton did not want to let me go. You’re a professional, so now I’ll give everything to the club.”

For Liverpool, their failure to secure the defender meant depleted resources at the back, with Dejan Lovren admitting he is taking painkillers to get him through games and is unable to train because of back and achilles problems.

Lovern is also miss Croatia’s World Cup qualifier with Finland on Friday, and Croatia manager Ante Cacic has already confirmed that the centre-half will be unavailable for the crucial Group I qualifier.

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