Virgil van Dijk has risked his “reintegration” at Southampton by insisting he has “no regrets” over his failed move to Liverpool and reiterated his desire to leave, possibly in January.
The Holland centre-half handed in a transfer request in August and made it plain he wanted a move to Anfield. Southampton reported Liverpool to the Premier League for an alleged illegal approach as the transfer collapsed and the Merseyside club were forced into a grovelling apology. In a bid to defuse the situation, they also promised they would back away from the former Celtic player.
Southampton refused to buckle during the summer window and the 26-year-old, who signed a new six-year contract in May 2016, was ordered to train alone in July.
Since then he has made his way back into the first-team picture, finally making a start on Saturday but giving away a penalty in a 2-1 defeat at Stoke City.
However, Van Dijk seems to have reopened old wounds with the Southampton supporters while on international duty. “Halfway through the season, maybe we can see what’s possible,” he told Fox Sports.
On the failed switch to Merseyside, he added: “I have no regrets. I wanted to go one step up, but eventually Southampton did not want to let me go. You’re a professional, so now I’ll give everything to the club.”
Liverpool’s current defensive resources are stretched with Dejan Lovren admitting he is taking painkillers to get him through games and is unable to train because of back and achilles problems. He will miss Croatia’s World Cup qualifier with Finland on Friday. The Croatia manager Ante Cacic confirmed that the centre-half will be unavailable for the crucial Group I qualifier.
“Lovren is playing without training with the help of injections and pills. After every game it takes time for recovery,” Cacic said.
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