Southampton executive director Les Reed has warned clubs interested in Virgil van Dijk that he “is not for sale”.
Liverpool have been linked with a big money move for the Dutch defender, along with Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United and Everton.
The former Celtic centre-back has been in impressive form for the Saints since arriving from the Scottish champions almost eighteen months ago in a deal worth a reported £13m.
But the south coast club are not interested in letting him move on – especially after the news of Portugal international defender Jose Fonte asking to leave St Mary’s.
“Virgil is not for sale.” Reed told the Southampton Echo.
“We haven’t had any bids and if we got any bids we wouldn’t consider them because it just doesn’t make sense to think we would release Virgil van Dijk in midseason when we have still got, we believe, all to play for.
“There haven’t been any enquiries but certainly the status of him at the moment is that he is simply not for sale.
“The way we operate in the transfer windows has always been the same.
“January is a very difficult window because it’s a panic window, and players who are available in January are available for a reason.
“Unless you are going to break all kinds of transfer records, or you’re the type of club that has the finances to do that, whatever you do you are going to pay over the top and probably for a player you would rather not have because the guy you want is not going to be available.
“Our focus is that we don’t panic and we are not tempted to patch things up, but we do have a situation where if an opportunity did arise and we could improve the squad then we would consider it on its merits at the time.” he finished.
A reported price tag of £50m is probably going to be too hefty for most interested parties and moves will likely be put off until the end of the season.