Southampton have reportedly increased their valuation of defender Virgil van Dijk, with interested clubs such as Chelsea and Manchester City told to splash out a whopping £70m-plus.
The Saints are seemingly ready to play hardball in the situation surrounding their commanding centre-half, having already seen off Liverpool this week as the Reds had to withdraw their interest following the Saints making a complaint to the Premier League about their conduct.
However, both Chelsea and Man City remain interested, although for how long remains to be seen as The Daily Mail report that Southampton want over £70m for Van Dijk, and they are more than happy to continue to reject bids that fall short of their demands.
While the 25-year-old is certainly a top defender, there’s no way he’s worth that much and so effectively, Southampton are pricing him out of a move away from St. Mary’s and with five years remaining on his contract, it doesn’t look as though he’s going anywhere as they are in a very strong position.
As they now appear comfortable in terms of not needing to sell their best players due to financial pressure, their rivals will now have to significantly overpay for their preferred targets, but it looks as though the Dutch international is staying where he is.
It was an embarrassing turn of events for Liverpool this past week, but it could perhaps be even more embarrassing if either Chelsea or City stump up the cash required to sign Van Dijk as they must surely be looking at other targets instead.