Southampton have been urged to make a "huge statement" in the transfer window and keep defender Virgil van Dijk from joining Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool or Manchester City. The quartet have all been linked with a big-money move for the Netherlands international, whose days on the south coast appear to be numbered.
The Mirror understand Saints are holding out for a £70m (€80.3m) fee for Van Dijk, with a cluster of Premier League giants monitoring his future at St Mary's. The 25-year-old agreed a new six-year contract last summer, yet he is expected to join the likes of Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw in becoming the latest high-profile exit from the club.
Four of the top flight's biggest clubs are reportedly interested in luring Van Dijk from Southampton. Liverpool and City, whose campaigns were littered with defensive mishaps, lead the race, but both Arsenal and Chelsea are interested in sparking their summer business with the acquisition of the former Celtic defender.
During Van Dijk's enforced absence due to a foot injury, Steven Davis skippered Southampton in the second half of the campaign after being appointed club captain following Jose Fonte's exit to West Ham United. The Northern Ireland international has seen a succession of key players leave the club in recent summers and believes keeping Van Dijk from the clutches of City and Liverpool would be a significant moment.
"He is a huge player," Davis told Sky Sports. "Obviously a huge miss when you get injured in the second half of the season. He is a top quality player – hopefully we can do our best to keep hold of him and build the team around him.
"It will be a huge statement. We all know the qualities that he has got. He is still at an age where he is going to get better so we know there will be teams looking at him such is his quality but hopefully we can keep hold of him and go and have a strong season."
Pep Guardiola and City have left their rivals in their wake in the transfer market just weeks after the end of the Premier League season. Bernardo Silva has already been acquired from Monaco, while a fee has been agreed with Benfica to sign goalkeeper Ederson.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have signed former Chelsea youngster Dominic Solanke but the most significant piece of transfer news has come away from the summer window. New chief executive Peter Moore has pledged to back manager Jurgen Klopp in the market, with the German boss preparing to spend £200m to improve his squad.