Liverpool’s attempts to sign Virgil van Dijk have suffered a hefty knockback after a ‘fuming’ Southampton reportedly raised their asking price to £75million.
The commanding Dutchman has been heavily tipped to make the move to Anfield this summer, with Manchester City and Chelsea also reportedly keen.
Although Liverpool’s attempts to sign him have been reported to the Premier League by Southampton, who feel the player has been illegally tapped up, the Reds were expected to land the Dutchman in what will amount to a club record transfer.
However, the ‘fuming’ Saints have now responded to Liverpool’s efforts to land Van Dijk by reportedly telling them it will cost ‘up to £75million’ to land the Dutch defender.
That would obviously be far in excess of what Liverpool are willing to pay and it seems the deal is some distance from completion given Southampton’s latest stance.
The move to sign Van Dijk, however, has been fully supported by Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, who admits he’d “love” to see the former Celtic man arrive at Anfield.
“I’d love to see him in a red shirt. I’m a huge fan,” Gerrard told the event ‘Steven Gerrard Live’.
“I thought he was fantastic at Celtic and I thought we should have had a go for him back then,” he added.
Reports of Southampton raising their asking for Van Dijk follow earlier stories that Manchester City had pulled out of negotiations for the defender.
Just last month, Saints chairman Ralph Kruger insisted they had no need to sell the Dutchman, saying:
“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.
“I can make that statement and – unless football decides it’s in the best interests – we don’t need to do that.
“I think that we’re moving into a new era at Southampton Football Club after three-and-a-half years of building this foundation of depth, where we have more than 25 players that can play a Premier League game.”
Asked if Saints could realistically turned down a £60million bid for him this summer, Krueger said: “Can we? Yes.
“The big thing is here again I want to underline the strategy, less the detail.
“You know I really respect our lead in football, Les Reed is doing an excellent job, and Ross Wilson has taken on a big role assisting Les and leading our football-specific decisions.
“They will continue next week once they’ve analysed the season and really de-brief completely, they will make then the football decision we need to make.
“I’ll tell you again, we do not need to sell anybody.”