Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk has officially asked to leave the club by way of a transfer request, which he handed in on Monday.
Chelsea and Liverpool should be quite pleased with this development, as they both aim to sign the player before the close of the transfer window. The Blues are understood to hold the edge in this particular endeavour, howeverm as the Saints' relationship with Jurgen Klopp's side has become rather strained.
The Reds were forced to back off from their pursuit after Southampton threatened to report them for tapping up some time ago. And while they still maintain an interest in the Dutchman, they will only make a move for him if Southampton give them the okay, according to the Echo.
Chelsea, meanwhile, don't have to wait for the green light from the St Mary's outfit. But the player, who asked that the club 'consider offers from top clubs if they still exist' has his heart set on moving to Anfield, according to Dutch source vi.nl.
Southampton ambivalent about Van Dijk statement & position unchanged: he's not for sale. VVD been in training ground every day & no issues— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) August 7, 2017
It is also understood that he won't say no to an offer from Chelsea, which should be enough of an encouraging factor for Antonio Conte and the Blues board.
The Saints, however, have remained intransigent on their stance. And per Telegraph writer Sam Wallace, they are continuing to insist that Van Dijk is not for sale, even after the player's statement was handed to them.
Southampton certainly cannot expect to enjoy the same kind of success with such a disgruntled player in their ranks; but they're also under no obligation to sell him, as he is contracted to the club until 2022.