Football: Southampton's Virgil Van Dijk still open to transfer

Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk returned to action, for the first time since January, against Palace last month but he has again cast doubt over his long-term future at the club.
Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk returned to action, for the first time since January, against Palace last month but he has again cast doubt over his long-term future at the club.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk insists he has "no regrets" over his failed transfer request and is still open to a potential move from St Mary's in January.

Van Dijk was left out of Southampton's first-team squad by manager Mauricio Pellegrino after the Dutch international handed in a transfer request following interest from Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City in the transfer window.

The 26-year-old centre back returned to action, for the first time since January, against Palace last month but he has again cast doubt over his long-term future at the club.

"Well, a lot happened," Van Dijk told Fox Sports. "Learned a lot, heard a lot, seen a lot and all that. Got some life experience.

"I'm not sorry for anything. Of course, I wanted to make a step up, but Southampton did not want me to sell me, but you're a professional, so now I'll give everything to the club.

"Halfway through the season, maybe we can see what's possible."

Van Dijk is currently with the Netherlands squad, who are in a tough qualification battle for a spot in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The Netherlands are third in Group A, three points behind second-placed Sweden and four behind group leaders France ahead of their matches against Belarus and the Swedes.

The group winners automatically qualify for the Finals, with the second-placed teams entering play-offs.