Saints stand firm on Van Dijk

Mauricio Pellegrino has revealed that Virgil van Dijk's transfer request has not changed Southampton's intention to keep the player.

 Liverpool heavily pursued a deal for Van Dijk at the start of the summer transfer window but were forced to drop their interest after Southampton reported them to the Premier League for an alleged illegal approach. According to reports it's understood that Chelsea and Manchester City are also interested in the defender, who signed a new long-term contract last year.

-My reaction is the same but I said three weeks ago we are expecting him to come back to train with us because we need the player, we need all of them. Hopefully he can change his point of view because he is an important player and we need him focused on the club, said Pellegrino.

 Southampton face Swansea in their Premier League opener on Saturday, but Pellegrino - who will oversee his first game in the English top flight - will not be able to call upon Van Dijk, who has not been training with the first-team squad.