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Liverpool STILL Briefing The Media Over Virgil Van Dijk !
Sunday, 9th Jul 2017 11:03

If Saints fans thought that the pusuit of Virgil Van Dijk was over by Liverpool when they publicly apologised and announced they would not continue to chase him, it seems they are wrong.

A plethora of stories is appearing in the media this weekend suggesting that Virgil Van Dijk is about to tray and force a move to Anfield by putting in a transfer request to Saints.

Perhaps the most telling report though is in the Liverpool Echo, a paper that naturally is very close to Liverpool football club and knowing how local papers work with football clubs, the Liverpool Echo will be very well briefed on any story surrounding the club and would not print a story without speaking to the club, ascertaining it's authenticiy and indeed the club's blessing.

As we saw a few weeks ago the Liverpool Echo and other media outlets both local to Anfield and national were well briefed to manipulate the situation.

But what the Liverpool Echo is saying today is simply shocking and brazen.

They firstly start by claiming that Virgil Van Dijk has told Southampton FC that he will ONLY move to Liverpool and no other club !

I'm not sure what they are trying to achieve here, we are not in a hurry to sell so that helps us that he does not want to go to Chelsea or Manchester City.

They then go on to say.

"A club statement in June expressed the club's regret over speculation surrounding the player's future and apologised for “any misunderstanding regarding Virgil van Dijk” - just 24 hours after the centre-back seemed set for Merseyside."

"But after the Premier League failed to act on Southampton's threat of reporting the Reds for an alleged illegal approach, there is a suggestion Liverpool could be open to negotiating a deal."

"Though their next move is unclear, with the South Coast club wanting £75million for their star man, the People suggest van Dijk wants to push through the move he initially thought he would receive this summer."

That is almost claiming that the Premier League's failure to act has lead Liverpool to believe that they can do what they want !

The Liverpool Echo are clearly being briefed by someone close to the player or the club, if they are not then why would they print unsubstantiated stories, that would only lead to a breakdown in relationship with Liverpool who would be worried that the paper was potentially putting them in further trouble with the Premier League.

The story is not exclusive to the Liverpool Echo, plenty of national media outlets have also carried it, suggesting that this is an orchestrated campaign as was waged earlier this summer.

The big question is just why Liverpool FC or indeed whoever is behind the media briefing feel the need to do so.

The situation is now black and white, Saints have told Van Dijk that he is not for sale and that they want him to continue to honour his contract at least for the next season, this in not unreasonable especially given that due to his injury he has not given Saints a full two seasons yet and was happy to sign a new deal only a year ago.

That means that there are only two options open to Van Dijk, he either stays or if he wants to move then he needs to put in a transfer request and push the point.

Players are loathe to do this as if they are sold without a transfer request being submitted then they are entitled to 10% of the transfer fee, if they put in a request then they lose that right.

That means few transfer requests are subitted these days and when you see a club demand a player do so, you know the situation is partcularly fraught and this is the last act of retribution by the club who is definately not leaving on a cordial note with his soon to beformer employers.

So why would Liverpool or perhaps the players agent, feel the need to launch this latest campaign.

The only answer is that this is at best a last attempt to try and force Saints into a sale without a transfer request, or at worst trying to push the player into doing so and manipulate the situation.

Perhaps Van Dijk is not willing to put in that request, perhaps although yes he would like to join Liverpool, after all it would be much more money and a chance to challenge for honours both in the Premier and Campions League, none of which he will be able to achieve at Saints, but he is willing to accept he needs to stay another year, something that will not please either Liverpool or his agent.

As I say all parties know where the situation is at, there is only one road to go down now if Van Dijk wants to go to Liverpool, why would the Anfield Club be willing to risk the Premier League stepping in again if Van Dijk was willing to put in that request, they could just sit back and wait for it to happen and then plead innocence as to any illegal approach or trying to unsettle the player.

Desperate times call for desperate measures I'm afraid and someone is very desperate for this deal to happen, if it was Virgil Van Dijk then surely he would have stopped "Telling" Saints he want to go to Anfield and the transfer request would already be on Les Reed's desk.

Photo: Action Images

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fatcracker added 11:18 - Jul 9
Your own article is equally biased, you too are accusing the club of influencing what the papers write, the fact of the matter is the player has had his head turned and now he want's to play for a club who have higher ambitions than Southampton, whose board are willing to sell and make a profit, if the player is unhappy, what's the point in keeping him, Southampton thought there would be an auction with the highest bidding taking the prize, however the lad want's to play CL football, end of!

A1079 added 11:37 - Jul 9
I suppose the only way this story would be put to bed is if both the player and agent openly stated that they have no intention of requesting or manipulating a move under any price this season and that barring a club decision to sell him, he will be playing for Southampton FC for the duration of the season ahead.

On a broader point, I wish we would collectively stop obsessing about Liverpool, Everton, Spurs et al. As much as we may dislike them for the manner in which they have gone about their business and hope (usually in vain) that we will get one over them during a season, the point is, SFC are as much to blame for creating the fevered atmosphere in previous close seasons of selling our best players (though there are signs we may be taking a different approach this close season - but there is still time) and thus we are seen as a target, though in some way, it is a backhanded compliment that the big clubs see our players of a quality that can make a difference.

It is a well known ploy in politics to take the focus off yourself and your own organisation and turn the focus on your opposition. We need to focus on the behaviour of our own club rather than obsess on our opponents. Though we may have changed the cover of our book, I remain open minded as to whether we have changed our approach and that will only become apparent when the season starts.

jasonlfc added 11:47 - Jul 9
The Echo used to be close to the club, and has on many occasions, posted spurious comments, and maybe your reading too deep into it, Southampton fans were seemingly happy to take the initial purported fee of 50M for Vvd, then came the tapping up story. If Your club was not wanting to sell, Why would they then publicly set a fee of 75M.? Southampton expected a bidding war, and shot themselves in the foot with th 75m hardliners stance (That's not at all negating what Liverpool did!) . Lest we not forget it wasn't too long ago Southampton themselves unsettled a player and waited to deadline day to sign him from Saltzberg. Mane anyone. Glass houses the rest? Take the 60M Nobody else but Everton are offering from Liverpool and make some more £££, You did after all sign his replacement already 😂😂

altonsaint added 12:01 - Jul 9
If Southampton complained before, is this not a similar situation and they could report Liverpool again?

Lazz added 12:26 - Jul 9
Yeh report Liverhampton again, if van Dijk wants to go to Liverpool sell him to Everton that would,
Really upset liverpool fans and Klopp, but only if we want to sell I hope we don't sell him

montecristo added 12:33 - Jul 9
clearly the Saints Board perhaps didn't think through the implications of creating an image of Saints as a selling club. I've always opposed this now look at what we have to do deal with once again. There is no easy solution Saints need new ownership as I've no faith that the present owner will suddenly begin to put more of her own money into player acquisitions so that we dont have to sell our best players every season.It is not for me what football clubs are about.Fans identify with their players and current policy has make a mockery of that principle.I also find it embarrassing to constantly read comments from Liverpool and other clubs fans belittling our club because of a policy most dont agree with .

SanMarco added 12:59 - Jul 9
If we assume all this is true then I draw the following conclusions:

It is, first and foremost, VVD who is treating SFC with utter comment. All the rest - agents, other clubs etc are side issues. As is said above he could easily put all this to bed and if he wants to go the adult thing to do is put in a formal transfer request. This tactic of nudge and wink which destroys your relationship with the club and makes the move 'inevitable' is deeply childish.

Following on from that, I think Montecristo's first sentence is important here. In becoming a selling, 'stepping-stone' club we have made it very difficult for ourselves. I believe that the club genuinely now feels it doesn't need to sell but VVD's contempt shows that this is easier said than done. VVD's behaviour (again with the caveat that these reports are true) would suggest he has learnt from MS and VM who were victims of 'join the queue too late and you will have to wait a year'.

The old arguments about whether we had to become a selling club will be re-fought but my feeling is that where we are now is a very frustrating place. It is the 'stepping-stone' players we need to improve but those players move on and reaffirm the very 'selling club' image we wish to lose. Where do we go from here? Buying players (or appointing managers) the big boys don't want would seem to be a perverse solution. One thing is certain - if we didn't make a stand on VM who was only 'worth' 10 odd million to us we aint going to make a stand here. Another depressing summer is upon us....

patred added 13:05 - Jul 9
For the sake of all 'smaller' clubs, Liverpool cannot be allowed to get away with these 'bullying' tactic.
I'm absolutely fed up with their arrogance.
Absolutely fed up with the player and his agent.
They have all decimated our preseason preparations.
The FA need to get involved and show they represent all clubs, not just the top 6.


highfield49 added 14:20 - Jul 9
Whatever the outcome of the new tapping up campaign the spineless, gutless people running the Premier League should be utterly ashamed of themselves for letting Liverpool off the hook and VVD and his agent should be equally ashamed that they are, apparently, unwilling to distance themselves from the tabloid trash. Frankly, I'm hoping that the club is contacting all of the bigger European clubs letting them know offers for VVD are invited and equally refuse any offer from the north of England.

ericofarabia added 15:08 - Jul 9
It is very telling that despite Liverpool's statement about taking the matter no further, in their "apology" (only made to avoid a possible Transfer Ban), that they have not attempted to sign any other Centre Half and that their decision was always to cause friction between club and player to acheive their means.

AmericanSaint added 15:27 - Jul 9
Some good points today. i think it is very telling that VVD has not come out and said he is staying or putting in a transfer request. If this is his childish behavior, Saints should do one of two things (1) Sell him to any other team besides Liverpool, no matter what the price is, just to prove a point; or (2) tell him that he will play for the under 21s this season and let him rot. I highly doubt any big club will be begging for his services next season. Yes, Saints will lose some money, but they will finally make a stand. Otherwise, the comments we have seen about being a stepping up club will continue no matter what. And a final note - anyone who thinks the FA cares about any club but the top 6 is living in a dreamland. It's a Billionaires Club that they will not let anyone else join.

SaintBrock added 16:34 - Jul 9
No news from the club or the player must be seen as good news. Nothing has changed here since vD signed his new contract so why the need for announcements or denials? Let's face it behind the dressing room door, the players know the game that is being played and more than likely they take the piss out of the poor sod every day!

What Pelligrino should do is confirm Virgil as HIS Captain quickly, that would be a subtle way of putting all this nonsense to bed.

SaintBrock added 16:52 - Jul 9
patred, the PL wanted in former years to reduce the league to 12 teams to improve the quality and fight off the threat of a competing all embracing Euro Super League. Some of those conditions still apply like too many fixtures for the teams who are realistically expected to compete in Europe with the very best so that players are too exhausted or injured when European fixtures come around. Patently the PL are not in the least bit interested in the bottom half of the PL, for them just a chore for the bigger clubs to work through.

From our fairly comfortable position in the top 8 these days we too consider fixtures against many of the lesser lights of the PL to be not worth watching because of the poor quality of football on offer. Like so may things in life one's view of a situation depends very much on where they are standing at the time.


Braveheart added 19:16 - Jul 9
It is quite simple, change the laws of contract. No point having a contract
if no one abides b them. VVD owes us for ae money his recovery and rehabiliaionhas cost. Show some gratitude VVD, you've signed a contract so shut up and start ai like the professional you are supposed to be.

saintpp added 19:22 - Jul 9
VVD was publicly asked last week at the club if he was staying at Saints and he acc to the reporter he nodded and smiled.
Incredible if true they wrote 'that as the FA failed to act they are open to negotiating the deal' just about an admission of guilt and further tapping up intent.
Could be they are getting desperate and who couldnt blame them with liablity lovern in their team instead.

Stevebish added 19:44 - Jul 9
All the points are good but does anyone not think this is just the papers getting upset as we are not just rolling over and doing what they think we should be and rolling over for one of the big boys

Matsy added 21:01 - Jul 9
Some good points but some ridiculous ones also! I wouldn't believe the Liverpool Echo for a minute. They are owned by a Mancunians after all! As for putting VVD in the U21's and letting him rot, I don't actually think you can legally do that nowadays. Sorry American Saint! I say, do what's best for Southampton. Sell him asap to Liverpool, get top dollar and waste less time in this window reinvesting ALL of the proceeds in the defence!

AmericanSaint added 21:12 - Jul 9
@Matsy - Actually they can do that if as long as his contract does not stipulate such. I have never seen a contact state that since he might have to play in the U21s for rehab from an injury. You must be a liverpool fan since you want Saints to sell him to liverpool asap. A player like VVD does not come around often, so why should they sell him. Even in England, contracts are legal binding documents, so if Saints want him to sit and rot and are willing to pay his wages to do so, then they have that right as long as they are not abusing the contract.

kingslandstand1 added 22:22 - Jul 9
American Saint, aren't we not obliged to put our best team out at all times in the Premier? In which case bbc would almost certainly play each week?

BoondockSaint added 01:56 - Jul 10
He had his many faults, but tell you what: Cortese would never have put up with this sort of cr@p from the Scouse.

By not filing a complaint with the league and pushing in the media for them to enforce their own laws, the Saints are silently giving the nod to the Scouse that the deal can still be done.

And speaking of friendly newspapers, where's the long interview in the Echo with Les trashing the actions of the Scouse like he did with Fonte?

Saintsincanada added 04:51 - Jul 10
If it's just the idiots in the media mouthing off like they normally do than the club or player should step forward and confirm his intentions. If they don't as soon as he steps on the field for the first home fixture he will be booed which is not fair to the rest of the players.

Contracts in English football are ridiculous. The Saints should have demanded the FA investigate weeks ago. The FA would have surely swept the issue under the rug anyway like they normally do.

For the sake of the committed Saint players this issue needs a resolution quickly. My god the season is just around the corner.

If he is trying to force a move now of us should be surprised. The league is full of Football whores.

Im glad the Saints Board is taking a stance. It's the right thing to do .

Shame on the selfish player with a new 5 year contract, his criminal agent and the whole Liverpuke organization for causing this issue.

FA if your listening (we know you don't) put a 3 year transfer ban on Liverpuke. Grow some balls and send a message.

Lazz added 05:23 - Jul 10
Can't wait to see liverpool flop in the campions league

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