Virgil van Dijk should respect Southampton contract, says Nigel Adkins

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Former Southampton boss Nigel Adkins says Virgil van Dijk needs to show respect to his current club, amid reports linking him with a move away from St Mary's

Virgil van Dijk should "respect" his Southampton contract amid ongoing transfer speculation surrounding the defender, according to Nigel Adkins.

Van Dijk, who has told manager Mauricio Pellegrino he wants to leave the club, first received interest from Liverpool following the conclusion of last season before Southampton complained to the Premier League about an alleged illegal approach.

The 26-year-old has been training on his own since Southampton's return to pre-season training and was left out of the club's training camp in France and a source close to Van Dijk expects him to be a Liverpool player by the end of the window, according to Sky sources.

Southampton's Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk (C) sits down injured as Southampton's English defender Ryan Bertrand (L) looks on during the English Premier
Image: Van Dijk missed the second half of the season through injury

"A player and a player's representatives are always going to push to get the best deal they can, Adkins told Sky Sports at the unveiling of the new home of the English Football League - EFL House.

"He needs to be respectful of Southampton - he needs to be training and training well for them. If something does materialise, then that's just business, that's football, that's life. He's got to deal with that."

Adkins, who managed the Saints between 2010 and 2013 and led the club to the Premier League via successive promotions from League One, also believes 'player power' is becoming too prevalent.

Image: Nigel Adkins believes Van Dijk should show more commitment while remaining a Southampton player

"We've got a situation in football where it's too easy for a player to say 'I am unhappy'… well the player was not unhappy when he signed a contract not so long ago," Adkins said.

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"He has to be respectful of that contract as well and if business gets done, get it done privately and done behind the scenes. If Van Dijk does go, Southampton will get the asking price, which seems very expensive at this point in time."

Chelsea and Manchester City are also said to be interested in the Netherlands centre-back.

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