Southampton captain Virgil van Dijk has been told to remain at the club and to respect his contract by ex-Saints manager Nigel Adkins.
Van Dijk's future has been one of the transfer sagas of the summer, amid interest for the player's signature from Liverpool and Chelsea, and has resulted in the Dutchman training alone and away from the squad.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Adkins was unsympathetic of Van Dijk's situation: “He needs to be respectful of Southampton - he needs to be training and training well for them. If something does materialise, then that's just business, that's football, that's life. He's got to deal with that."
The unemployed manager - who coached the Saints from 2010 to 2013 - also weighed in with his thoughts on the market in the modern day: "We've got a situation in football where it's too easy for a player to say 'I am unhappy'… well the player was not unhappy when he signed a contract not so long ago."
Source close to Virgil Van Dijk expects him to be Liverpool player by end of window. No suggestion LFC have done anything since apology— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) July 25, 2017
Despite Van Dijk's formal request to leave, any deal for the defender to leave the club still appears to be some time away. Southampton are holding out for a fee upwards of £65m and are refusing to lower their demands.
Adkins reiterated this by explaining: “He has to be respectful of that contract as well and if business gets done, get it done privately and done behind the scenes. If Van Dijk does go, Southampton will get the asking price, which seems very expensive at this point in time.”
Whilst Liverpool are reportedly willing to pay that sum, the two clubs' relationship has been tarnished by tapping up allegations - made by the Saints earlier in the summer - and so any potential deal could drag on until the end of August.