“I have been left frustrated by the club’s position that I am not for sale and am disappointed that enquiries from multiple top clubs have been consistently rebuffed”
Southampton star Virgil van Dijk
But he still wants to move to Anfield, having also been linked with Chelsea, who are now focusing their efforts on signing Serge Aurier from Paris St-Germain.
Van Dijk became the highest-paid player in Southampton’s history when he signed a six-year contract in May 2016 but sacked his agent just days later.
The former Celtic centre-back was left out of the Saints’ pre-season tour of France because, according to manager Mauricio Pellegrino, he was not in the right frame of mind to play.
In a lengthy statement, the defender said: “Over the past six months, I have held numerous discussions with representatives of the board, the former manager Claude Puel as well as the new manager Mauricio Pellegrino to inform them all of my desire to leave the club in search of a new challenge.
“I have been left frustrated by the club’s position that I am not for sale and am disappointed that enquiries from multiple top clubs have been consistently rebuffed.
“I have consistently relayed my feelings to senior management at Southampton in what I believed to be private and personal conversations. Disappointingly, these conversations have regularly found their way into the media.”