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So far this transfer window, the Reds have been heavily linked with Southampton centre back Virgil van Dijk, but have been frustrated in their attempt to sign the player, who is expected to cost in excess of £50 million. In a campaign that lacked Champions League football, Liverpool's lack of back-up performers meant their season fell apart when Sadio Mane left for worldwide duty in January's African Cup of Nations, with injuries to Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and treatment room season ticket holder Daniel Sturridge adding to their woes.

"It is with regret that I can confirm that I have today handed in a transfer request to leave Southampton Football Club", he said on Monday (7 August) in a statement released via his management company.

Van Dijk is training on his own at Southampton and was excluded from the club's pre-season tour to France last week.

Virgil van Dijk has told Southampton he wants to leave - but will it be Chelsea or Liverpool?

Do you guys think that Wenger should at least try to sign Van Dijk, getting a top quality player and some revenge on the scousers at the same time?

In the Premier League a year ago, the Reds conceded 12 goals from set-pieces, the most of any of the top six clubs. Over the past six months I have held numerous discussions with representatives of the board to inform them of my desire to leave.

Van Dijk said he was "insulted" by the suggestion that he had refused to train, adding that his relationship with the club and its fans had been "seriously affected". He has two-and-a-half weeks to find a new club.

However, Liverpool have been unable to tempt Southampton into selling their Netherlands global Van Dijk.

Liverpool were found to have been in negotiations with van Dijk as early as April despite Southampton having informed them to wait until the end of the season.