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Southampton set hands-off asking price for Chelsea transfer target — report

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Southampton center back Virgil van Dijk has become one of the hottest names in the transfer market, with interest from all the big boys looking to make him the latest big-money player to leave Saints — though this time the destination might be Manchester City or Chelsea instead of Liverpool. City are supposedly willing to spend upwards of £50m even (again), but that may not be enough if the latest reports are true.

A world record fee for a defender, which the £60m would be, is a good way of saying “hands-off” especially after initial stories placed Van Dijk’s fee at just £25m. That sounded too good to be true of course, as did the supposed buyout clause accompanying it, which was swiftly denied by Southampton manager Claude Puel.

While Southampton are adamant that this time won’t be like the many last times when they sold their best and brightest, but with the crazy moneys in today’s market, can they really be that confident that someone won’t meet their demands?