Liverpool refuse to meet £70m asking price of Klopp’s No.1 target

Liverpool have reportedly told Southampton that they are unwilling to meet the £70m asking price for defender Virgil van Dijk.

The Reds were strongly linked with a move for the Dutch defender during the summer, but were ultimately forced to apologise for an alleged illegal approach as no transfer materialised.

Jurgen Klopp is still thought to be interested in Van Dijk as he looks to strengthen his defence during the January transfer window, but the Independent reports that they are unwilling to meet Southampton’s valuation of the centre-back.

The report goes on to state that Liverpool are concerned they will be unable to compete with the financial muscle of Chelsea and Manchester City, both of whom are also understood to be lining up a move for the 26-year-old.

However, Van Dijk favoured a move to Liverpool above their Premier League rivals during the summer and is still eager to secure a switch to Anfield.

Van Dijk was left out of Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Chelsea, after which manager Mauricio Pellegrino refused to rule out the possibility of his “best player” leaving the club in January.