Dick Advocaat has urged Southampton to resolve the controversy surrounding its wantaway defender.
Netherlands manager Dick Advocaat has urged Southampton to allow their star defender Virgil van Dijk to leave the club - despite condemning the way that the centre half has gone about his business.
The 26-year-old seemed very close to joining Liverpool this summer - stating his desire to move to the Reds and a fee rumoured to have been agreed. However, after news emerged that Liverpool had been tapping up Van Dijk illegally, Saints reported the Anfield outfit to the FA, causing Liverpool to immediately drop their interest.
And now, Van Dijk finds himself training alone due to his desire to leave - but Netherlands boss Dick Advocaat seems to think that Southampton should give in to his demands:
“You can condemn it (Van Dijk’s actions), but come on, if you can earn five times as much at a top English club then I understand that,” Advocaat told Dutch news outlet AD.
However, new Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino has reiterated his stance with Van Dijk, claiming that he is happy to wait until the defender wants to be part of the team before reuniting him with the rest of the squad. Southampton seem adamant not to sell.
“The situation is the same. I can’t say no more, because the situation is the boy is aside of the team because he doesn’t want to play for us.
“I would like to bring the boy and to persuade him that he’s important for us and the club will not sell him. We are expecting the best for everyone, even for Virgil, but he doesn't want to be part of the team.”
Saints' first Premier League match of the season comes on August 12 as they host Swansea. Whether Van Dijk will feature remains to be seen.