Southampton have dealt clubs seeking the signature of Dutch International, Virgil van Dijk a major blow by insisting he is not for sale.
Liverpool were the front-runners with Manchester United and Chelsea also signifying interest in the defender. And although Van Dijk handed in a transfer request last week in an effort to push through a departure from the south coast, club chairman, Ralph Krueger has now stressed the importance of the player and made it clear that he is not for sale.
‘Virgil is not for sale in this window and it’s not personal,’ Krueger said.
‘It’s not about him, it’s about an overall much, much, much bigger picture – a change of course for Southampton.
‘The first summer I was here five players went out and six went in, not counting academy. Second summer three went out, seven came in, and third summer five went out, five came in.
‘Now it is one out and two in, and this is who we want to become. We want to mature, we want to be a team that can profit from synergies that create a much more attractive football and a better product for the fans, and gives
us a chance to get back into Europe.
‘That’s one player in this whole equation of 25 and it is the visible one, but for us it’s the principle and it’s the path and it’s the statement we need to make to get to a new space as a club.
‘We are very, very adamant about carrying this through. The new partnership has completely and wholly backed our strategy and plan and on September 1 people will see how serious we were and are.’