The footballing world is about to go into the first international break of the new season, and the transfer window is just a matter of days away from closing.
Despite the deadline approaching, there are many sagas still yet to be resolved, from Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and Arsenal talisman Alexis Sanchez to Virgil van Dijk.
The Southampton star handed in a transfer request earlier this month and also released a statement which emphasised his desire to join a bigger club.
Van Dijk suffered a serious injury at the start of 2017, but since returning to full fitness, he has been training alone and is yet to feature under new Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino.
Southampton’s chairman has continually insisted that the Dutchman won’t be sold this summer, but now the defender has taken unprecedented steps in order to get his wish before Thursday.
WHAT VAN DIJK HAS DONE TO FORCE MOVE AWAY
In an exclusive, the Irish Independent have reported that Van Dijk has dumped his agent as he looks to force through a move to either Chelsea or Liverpool.
However, in addition to getting rid of his agent, the 26-year-old is also attempting to break the terms of the contract extension he signed with Southampton.
Van Dijk, who moved to St Mary’s from Celtic in September 2015, agreed a new six-year deal last summer which including a clause stating that he would not leave the club for at least two years.
Southampton officials were not happy when they found out that the player’s advisers held unsolicited talks with Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City over a potential move months ago.
WILL VAN DIJK LEAVE THIS SUMMER?
Van Dijk’s latest actions prove that his mind is made up, however, according to Irish Independent’s report, the Saints want to “make a statement” in the handling of the situation by refusing to give in to their star man’s antics.
They responded to claims that Van Dijk and his new agent had been in contact with Chelsea and Arsenal by reiterating that they are standing firm with their decision to block any transfer until January at the earliest.
The Netherlands international, who is likely to cost between £60 and £70 million, is reportedly favouring a move to Anfield, however champions Chelsea remain interested.
Many Liverpool fans are desperate for a commanding new centre-back, while Antonio Conte has warned his club that they must sign more players to have any chance of successfully defending their Premier League title.
Van Dijk clearly wants to leave, so it will be very interesting to see how he’ll react both on and off the pitch if he is still a Southampton player come Friday morning.