Liverpool’s mountain to climb continues to get steeper as Southampton have reiterated their stance that Virgil van Dijk is not for sale this summer.
Southampton’s executive director Les Reed has insisted that Virgil van Dijk will not be for sale at any price this summer transfer window.
The Dutchman had been a priority target for Jürgen Klopp, while also drawing interest from Manchester City and Chelsea. The Saints were believed to have slapped a mammoth £70m price tag on his head after resigning themselves to losing the player this summer, making him the most expensive defender in the history of football.
However, that’s supposedly all changed now after Southampton allegedly promised new manager Mauricio Pellegrino that the club’s best players will not be sold this summer.
Reed told Sky Sports (via ECHO) when asked about Liverpool’s pursuit of the Dutchman and Tottenham’s pursuit of full back Cedric: “None of those players are for sale. I can’t make it any plainer than that and that’s the way we mean to go forward.
“We built this squad over some time and think we have a strong squad. We will fine-tune it but, other than that, we are looking forward to a very competitive season and we plan to go forward on that basis.
“There may be players that go on the basis it is the right thing for them and the club at that given time. But we don’t expect that to be wholesale and this is simply doing sound business in the transfer window. We’ve got a strong squad now and it would be about adding players bringing more value and power.”
Despite this, plenty of pundits and fans all believe the Reds are still a chance of signing the Dutchman if they do launch an obscene bid.
Ex-Red Steve Nicol, in particular, is confident Liverpool will sign the defender and will stump up whatever cash they have to for his services.
“If the price is right, which I hope is not £60million because I don’t think he’s worth £60million,” Nicol told ESPNFC. “Liverpool need a centre-back, I guess sometimes you have to do what you have to do.”
“Whether the valuation is correct or not, Liverpool need a centre-back. He is a good player, the question is can he deliver at Liverpool? He did it at Southampton, can he do it at one of the big boys? I don’t know.”