Liverpool’s efforts to pen Virgil van Dijk have suffered a huge setback after a ‘fuming’ Southampton reportedly increased their asking price to £75million.
The Dutc defender has been heavily linked to make the move to Anfield this summer, with Manchester City and Chelsea also reportedly interested.
Although Liverpool’s effort to sign the player have been reported to the Premier League by Southampton, who feel the player has been illegally tapped up, the Reds were likely considered to bring the Dutchman in what will amount to a club record transfer.
However, the ‘fuming’ Saints have now responded to Liverpool’s efforts to grab Van Dijk by reportedly telling them it will cost ‘up to £75million’ to sign the Dutchman.
That would obviously be far in excess of what the Reds are inclined to pay and it seems the deal is far from being completed 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 increasing their asking price for Van Dijk follow earlier stories that Manchester City had pulled out of negotiations for the defender.
Saints chairman Ralph Kruger, last month insisted that they had no intention of selling the defenderJust last month, 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.