Southampton are prepared to sell Virgil van Dijk this summer – but only for a world record fee.

The Mirror says Saints have slapped a whopping £70million price-tag on their sought-after skipper Van Dijk – a world record for a defender.

Liverpool and Manchester City are among the clubs battling to sign central defender Van Dijk, who has also been linked with Arsenal and champions Chelsea, in the upcoming transfer window.

But the Saints are ready to play hard-ball to keep the 25-year-old Dutchman, who only signed a new six-year contract last summer.

Van Dijk is currently rehabilitating after missing the final four months of the season with an ankle injury.

He is understood to be relaxed about his situation and has so far not informed Saints of a desire to leave after two years.