By 90Min
August 08, 2017

Matt Le Tissier has questioned why Virgil van Dijk committed his long-term future to Southampton after he handed in a transfer request on Monday.

The Saints captain issued a lengthy statement explaining why he wanted out of St.Mary's as Liverpool and Chelsea chase over the £60m-rated defender's signature.

Le Tissier queried parts of Van Dijk's statement, via his Twitter account, in the aftermath of its release and, when a fan tweeted him stating his opinion that the Dutch international was just showing his ambition, the Southampton legend questioned why Van Dijk only penned a new six-year deal 15 months ago if he was as ambitious as he was made out to be.

Van Dijk's contract extension meant that he would be tied to Southampton until June 2022, but just over one year after penning that new deal, is determined to leave the south coast club.

The 26-year-old's near 500-word essay on why he was desperate to leave the Saints was published after his manager Mauricio Pellegrino had claimed that Van Dijk didn't want to play for the Premier League side anymore.

The newly-installed Saints boss had also insisted that last season's EFL Cup runners-up would not bow to Liverpool's pressure to sell Van Dijk on the cheap - and both points clearly rankled with the ex-Celtic star,

In the statement, Van Dijk revealed that he had been "insulted" over Southampton's decision to fine him two weeks' wages due to disciplinary problems surrounding his stance.

He also went on the claim that he informed Southampton of his desire to leave at the turn of the year, and that his current period on the sidelines with an ankle injury had "made me realise just how important it is to take major opportunities should they arise".

Michael Steele/GettyImages

Van Dijk went on to add that he had "never once refused to train" and was embarrassed by claims to the contrary before thanking Southampton - and their fanbase - for their support during his time with the club.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had admitted over the weekend that he was content to head into the new season with his current centre-back options, but may now reignite his interest in Van Dijk.

The Reds, however, may face competition for his services from Premier League champions Chelsea, with Antonio Conte also believed to be weighing up a move for him.

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