Liverpool’s pursuit of Virgil van Dijk is quickly developing into one of the painfully long transfer sagas that promises to continue moving back and forth.
There is no doubt Southampton are eager to keep hold of the defender and it seems the club will take a stubborn approach to dealing with any side trying to lure the Dutchman away from St Mary’s.
Van Dijk has found himself subject to strong interest from both Liverpool and Chelsea with Jurgen Klopp reportedly eyeing up the former Celtic man as his priority defensive target.
£50million has been outlined as his supposed valuation yet it appears Southampton could be prepared to dismiss even higher bids for the centre-back.
Saints chairman Ralph Krueger has suggested that his club are in a position to reject a bid of £60million thanks to greater financial stability and thereby a improved opportunity to progress.
“Can we? Yes. We do not need to sell anybody,” Krueger told Sky Sports when asked if £60million could be turned down.
“Here we sit in the summer of ’17 and we now have 18 top, or above average, Premier League players under three or more year contracts.”
“So 18 players having more than three years, gives us control over the summer for the first time. We will decide if anybody goes and we will decide who comes in, in the best interests of the club. We do not need to sell any player for the first time since I’ve been here.”
Van Dijk has been a standout figure this season and is viewed as an ideal man to slot straight into Liverpool’s starting line-up in order to fulfil Jurgen Klopp’s desire to strengthen the spine of his team.
It won’t be Liverpool’s spending power but Southampton’s resolve that could put a deal in doubt with Klopp set to have the club’s record transfer budget at his disposal.
Expect this one to drag on for some time.