Liverpool face an almighty battle to capture Virgil van Dijk – with Southampton prepared to ask for up to £75million for the player.
The Saints have reacted angrily to the news van Dijk wants a move to Anfield having rejected overtures from Manchester City, Chelsea and, according to reports last night, Arsenal.
Reports on the South Coast claim the Southampton board have met to discuss their strategy having been accused of too easily selling their best players in recent times, with Liverpool alone having snapped up Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Rickie Lambert.
Southampton would rather there was a bidding war between van Dijk's potential suitors, and are looking for a price of between £65m and £75m.
They believe the onus is on the player to push the deal through, with the suggestion being van Dijk may even have to force the hand of the St Mary's club.
Van Dijk, who moved to Southampton from Celtic two years ago, signed a fresh six-year deal last summer and the Saints have still not given up hope on the 25-year-old staying on for one more season.
But Liverpool are confident the player's desire to move to Anfield will ultimately hold sway, with van Dijk keen to be part of the Reds' future under Jurgen Klopp.
Source: Liverpool Echo
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