Premier League News – 8th August from Bet365

Ambitious Van Dijk asks to leave

Southampton central defender Virgil van Dijk has made clear his wish to ‘challenge for major honours’ by handing in a formal transfer request at St Mary’s.

The 26-year-old Netherlands international is widely reported to be a target for a number of top Premier League clubs, but the Saints remain adamant that they are not willing to sell.

“I want to play European football again and challenge for major honours”. Virgil van Dijk

However, Van Dijk, who is nearly fully recovered from an ankle injury which has seen him out of action since January, has now decided to take matters into his own hands to try and secure the move he desires.

A statement from the player’s management company read: “It is with regret that I can confirm that I have handed in a transfer request to leave Southampton.

“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 am incredibly ambitious and want to achieve as much as I possibly can to fulfil my potential in what is a very short career as a professional footballer.

“I want to play European football again and challenge for major honours and, as such, I would like Southampton to consider the interest in me from top clubs should it still exist.

“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.”

Van Dijk joined the Saints at the beginning of September two years ago, having impressed during a two-season spell in Scotland with Celtic.

Meanwhile, with Bet365, Southampton are 8/15 to finish in the top half of the Premier League this season and are 9/2 to secure a top-six spot, while they are priced at 4/7 to win their opening game of the campaign at home to Swansea City on Saturday.

Choupo-Moting relishes new challenge

New Stoke City signing Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is excited about the fresh challenge of trying to prove himself in the Premier League.

The 28-year-old Cameroon international forward has joined the Potters on a three-year contract after being allowed to leave Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04.

“It has always been a goal of mine to one day come over to England and play here”. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting

He had previously played in Germany, the country of his birth, for Hamburg, Nurnberg and Mainz, but says is ready to embrace the different atmosphere of English football.

He told his new club’s official website: “It has always been a goal of mine to one day come over to England and play here.

“I think the Premier League is the most viewed league in the world and I am sure that every player in the world would one day like to come here.

“The Bundesliga is a great competition too, but the Premier League is really special.”

Choupo-Moting spent three years in Gelsenkirchen with Schalke, scoring 22 goals in 105 appearances in all competitions, and he becomes the fourth signing made by Stoke so far this summer.

Veteran midfielder Darren Fletcher has been recruited from Midlands rivals West Brom, defender Kurt Zouma has joined on loan from Chelsea and Josh Tymon has arrived from relegated Hull City.

With Bet365, Stoke are currently available at 9/4 to finish in the top half of the Premier League this season, while they are 4/11 to finish in the bottom half and are 1/10 to avoid relegation.

In other news:

Hughton thrilled to land Propper

Brighton boss Chris Hughton is delighted that he has been able to persuade the Dutch international midfielder Davy Propper to join the Seagulls. During his career Propper has scored 43 goals in more than 250 first-team games and played a key role in PSV’s 2015/16 league title triumph. With Bet365, PSV are 11/8 to win the Eredivisie title in 2017/18 while Brighton are 8/1 to beat Manchester City at the weekend

Gundogan close to Citizens return

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola expects to have midfielder Ilkay Gundogan available for selection in the very near future.

Clement accepts absence of Ki

Swansea City are set to be without Korean midfielder Ki Sung-yueng for at least the opening six weeks of the new Premier League season.

Wenger calls for a strong start

Arsene Wenger has urged Arsenal to make a strong start to the new Premier League season, having lifted the Community Shield at Wembley.