Van Dijk sacked agent as Liverpool set Monday deadline for Coutinho

Afternoon Bulletin

Virgil van Dijk sacked agent in bid to force move to Liverpool

According to Independent, Virgil van Dijk has dumped his agent and is trying to break the terms of the contract he signed last summer as he looks to force his way out of Southampton.

It is revealed that the new six-year deal that he signed with Southampton last summer, had a clause that would ensure he would not move for at least two years. Van Dijk then changed his agent in December as he signed up with the same management company that also managers former Southampton boss Ronald Koeman.

Southampton, however, feared Koeman departure to take over at Everton last summer might reignite a conflict thus did not welcome the move. It was when Van Dijk began to agitate for a move to Liverpool in May that the Saints discovered that Van Dijk’s advisers had already held unsolicited talks over a big money move with Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester City, with the Dutch defender favouring a move to Anfield following those discussions.

Van Dijk has since changed his agent again in a bid to try and hasten a transfer, but Southampton have made it clear that they are not intending to sell him this summer. The defender has not been training with the Southampton first team squad all summer and has vowed not to play for the club again.

“Virgil is not for sale in this window and it’s not personal,” Saints chairman Ralph Krueger said.

“It’s not about him, it’s about an overall much, much, much bigger picture – a change of course for Southampton.

“We will not sell players we don’t want to leave this summer. We are very, very adamant about carrying this through.”

Liverpool set Monday deadline for Philippe Coutinho

According to reports, Liverpool have set Barcelona a Monday ultimatum to match their valuation of Coutinho as Liverpool would want to sign a replacement for Coutinho if they sold him and need time to secure a move before the transfer window closes on Thursday.

Barcelona and Liverpool are negotiating a deal for Coutinho after the Brazilian handed in a transfer request. Coutinho has yet to play for Liverpool this season due to a back injury.  The Reds have already failed to sign RB Leipzig’s Naby Keita and have moved on to Bayern Munich youngster Renato Sanches.

Barcelona expect to complete the signing of Ousmane Dembele from Barcelona on Monday but that deal will not prevent them from continuing their pursuit of Coutinho.