Van Dijk At The Heart Of Saints Plans
Tuesday, 11th Jul 2017 11:19
Mauricio Pellegrino is planning for the new season with Virgil Van Dijk very much at the centre of his plans.
Although the media has been full of speculation for months, the hard truth is Saints have not had one actual offer for Virgil Van Dijk.
All of the transfer business so far regarding the Dutchman has been conducted in the media and that has given the impression that a move is imminent, but it has now been imminent for the last two months since the season ended, yet not one club has put in an offer !
The talk is of Van Dijk putting in a transfer request, but that is a last resort and Liverpool or for example any other club are yet to test Saints resolve with a firm offer, perhaps the Anfield Club are hoping that Saints will cave in under Van Dijk's (Alleged) demands for a move to Anfield and sell on the cheap.
Mauricio Pellegrino is therefore assuming that Van Dijk will be staying at St Mary's and is now planning that the Dutchman will be a Saints player next season.
Saints have made it clear they do not want to sell and for the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City they seem willing to take that as gospel, whereas at least one other club is trying to unsettle the player via the media.
Why that club has not put in a firm offer for a player whom they were briefing the media they had in the bag is unclear, but it is strange that if Van Dijk wants to move to them, that they haven't suggests that the deal is not as clear cut as the media would have you believe.
Given that the season is now only four weeks away you would think that any buying club and the player would want a quick solution, if that is the case then why hasn't a bid put into Saints to test their resolve, why has the situation suddenly jumped to trying to put prssure on Saints through the media by suggesting that a transfer request is imminent ?
It does suggest that the player is not as desperate to go as the buying club would have you believe.
But perhaps more pertinently if Van Dijk is so desperate to go, why has he not already put in this reqeust, one answer is of course that he would lose a 10% cut of the transfer fee should he put in that request, another answer would be that he has accepted Saints decision, even if he does not like it and is willing to stay for another season.
That would of course leave his potential new employer stranded and resorting to the underhand tactics that are now taking place.
Of course things could change, but as it stands the situation is crystal clear and there appears to be no reason to delay matters, either Liverpool or the player himself make a move or nothing happens.
Saints have been backed into a corner they have publicly stated that Van Dijk is not for sale and it is clear they are going to hold that stance, history tells us that deals between the two clubs in previous summers have happened long before mid July, it benefits no one to let the situation go on in limbo.
The key now appears to be Virgil Van Dijk, he can try and force the club's hand by demanding a transfer, but he is tied to a long term deal so he is not in a position of strength, also with a World Cup coming up next summer, he cannot afford to find himself isolated at St Mary's so if he wants to make the Dutch squad should they qualify he needs to be playing regularly and at the top of his game.
In fairness to Saints the strategy is based on developing players and selling them at a Premium, nothing wrong with that, they have proved in the past notably with both Wanyama and Morgan Schneiderlin that they will only sell if it is in the best interests and it could be that if a bid of £75 million plus is made they may think it best to cash in, but unless a bid is made they cannot make that decision.
The neutral observer might conclude that Liverpool are trying to get the player on the cheap by unsettling him rather than putting in a bid at markey value to open negotiations, that they think that Saints will take less for an unhappy player.
This has already backfired once so why they would think it would work a second time is beyond me, Saints are in a corner, they are in no modd to back down, this second situation developing is not helping that mood at St Mary's, why they think it will do is baffling.
Photo: Action Images
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