Van Dijk justified in trying to force move - Advocaat

In yet another twist in the Virgil van Dijk transfer saga, Southampton are now believed to be willing to let their Dutch centre-back leave the club after Chelsea re-entered the race for his signature - ahead of rivals Liverpool, as per the Sun.

Earlier this summer it had been widely reported that van Dijk preferred a move to Liverpool over other suitors Chelsea and Manchester City but the investigation into the Reds' "Illegal tapping-up approach" for the player put a halt to proceedings over any potential deal.

The Times believe that Antonio Conte has been keen to add Van Dijk to his ranks since January, but has had to convince the Chelsea board to lodge a concrete offer for him.

But Van Dijk is still adamant he wants a move away from the south coast and has been training on his own away from the rest of his teammates during preseason as he continues to push for a move to Liverpool.

Advocaat told Voetbalzone Magazine: "You can condemn it (the defender asking to leave), but come on, if you can earn five times as much at a top English club, then I understand you're going to take action". It remains to be seen what will happen but it is likely that van Dijk will be leaving Southampton.

But Van Dijk's global manager says he has sympathy for his countryman.

The Netherlands global centre back has been training away from the first team, has played no part in pre-season matches and has told manager Mauricio Pellegrino he wants to leave.

Vanessa Coleman