Liverpool told top 26-year-old defender has ‘heart set’ on Anfield move

Shay Given believes Virgil van Dijk has his heart and mind set on a move to Liverpool despite Southampton's reluctance to sell this summer

Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk Photo: Virgil van Dijk / Twitter

Virgil van Dijk has his heart set on a move to Liverpool in the summer transfer window, Shay Given has claimed.

The Netherlands international has been linked with a move to the Merseyside outfit throughout the summer transfer window so far.

Liverpool were forced to issue a statement apologising to Southampton about their pursuit of the 26-year-old defender.

Van Dijk has since handed in a transfer request and has been told to train away from his Southampton team-mates.

Speculation linking the Dutch centre-half with a move to Liverpool has refused to go away despite the Saints’ reluctance to sell.

The Reds conceded three goals in their Premier League opener after a 3-3 draw with Watford at Vicarage Road last weekend.

Former Manchester City and Newcastle United goalkeeper Given believes Van Dijk is desperate to move to Liverpool despite interest from Chelsea.

“For him personally it will be frustrating. In every window Southampton have sold some of their best players,” Given told Sky Sports News on Thursday.

“So he’s thinking, Liverpool are a big club and in the Champions League. It’s a great chance for him to go to this big club. But I think recently they’ve had some investment, so maybe they’re in a stronger position off the pitch now to say Van Dijk is going nowhere.

“Van Dijk will not want to hear that, because in my opinion he’s got his heart and mind set on going to Liverpool. I don’t know how you bring him back round from that.”

Van Dijk has established himself as one of the best defenders in the Premier League since moving to Southampton from Celtic in the 2015 summer transfer window.

The Reds have already added AS Roma winger Mohamed Salah, Chelsea teenager Dominic Solanke and Hull City left-back Andy Roberson so far this summer.

Liverpool finished in fourth place in the Premier League last term.

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