Van Dijk hands in transfer request

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Virgil van Dijk has been at Southampton since 2015

Southampton captain Virgil van Dijk has handed in a transfer request and says he wants to play European football.

The Netherlands centre-back is wanted by a number of clubs and had said he wanted to move to Liverpool.

The 26-year-old said he handed in the request after claiming Southampton were about to fine him two weeks wages.

“I would like Southampton to consider the interest in me from top clubs should it still exist,” he said in a strongly worded statement.

Van Dijk added: “I have been left frustrated by the club’s position that I am not for sale and am disappointed that enquiries from multiple top clubs have been consistently rebuffed.

“I am incredibly ambitious and want to achieve as much as I possibly can to fulfil my potential in what is a very short career as a professional footballer.

“I want to play European football again and challenge for major honours.”

In July, Saints manager Mauricio Pellegrino said the player was training alone and wanted to leave.

“I can confirm that I was asked about my frame of mind and for all of the reasons mentioned above I was open and honest in saying that I did not feel I was in a settled mindset given the circumstances,” said Van Dijk.

“I would also like to make clear that I have never once refused to train.”

More to follow.

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