Southampton have reportedly slapped a huge valuation on defender Virgil Van Dijk, amid interest from some of the biggest clubs in the world.
British clubs Liverpool, Manchester City, Arenal and Chelsea have shown major interest in the player over recent weeks, while Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are also rumoured to be interested in the Dutchman’s services.
It was recently reported that Manchester City are prepared to offer £50m plus £180,000 a week for Van Dijk in what would be a huge move for the defender.
However, the offer is now thought to be some way off Southampton’s £70m valuation of the player, according to the Mirror.
Van Dijk signed a new six-year deal only last summer, meaning the Saints are in an ideal bargaining position should they look to sell him this transfer window.
The current record transfer fee paid for a defender is the £50m Paris Saint-Germain paid Chelsea for David Luiz back in 2014. If Van Dijk is to move in the summer, there’s every chance he could break that record.
It’s been an impressive few years for Van Dijk, who has seen his stock rise dramatically since moving to the Premier League.
Initially, there were a few who questioned the Dutch defender’s quality when he signed from Celtic for £13m in 2015.
Strong, quick, tactically astute and with an eye for a pass, the 25-year-old has gone from strength to strength at Southampton though, emerging as one of the best defenders in the league over the past two seasons.
Despite suffering an ankle injury, which kept him out the last four months of the season, Van Dijk was impressive in the league for the saints, keeping seven clean sheets with a tackle success rate of 77% in 21 appearances.
Whether or not his £70m valuation will put people off remains to be seen, but if Van Dijk does leave in the summer for a major club he’d be well on his way to becoming one of the top defenders in world football.