STEVEN Davis believes it would be a “huge statement” if Saints resisted big money offers and kept Virgil van Dijk.

The talismanic central defender is attracting big interest from the Premier League’s leading sides, with many clubs preparing bids of around £50m.

Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal are all said to be after the Dutchman, but Saints are ready to withstand such offers.

It is understood only massive offers for Van Dijk will even be entertained by Saints and Davis reckons it would be impressive if the club were able to keep him.

“It would be a huge statement,” he said. “We all know the qualities that he’s got.

“He’s at an age where he’s only getting better.

“We know there’s teams looking at him, such is his quality, but hopefully we can keep hold of him and go on and have a strong season.”

Van Dijk, 25, signed a new six-year contract at St Mary’s last year, which means Saints are in a very strong position to fight off interest for one of their prized assets.

It’s the same for all of Saints’ key men, with Oriol Romeu, Fraser Forster and Ryan Bertrand among those to be also on long-term deals on the south coast.

“[Van Dijk] is a huge player and was a big miss when he was injured in the second part of the season,” Davis added.

“He’s a top quality player and hopefully we’ll do our best to try and keep hold of him.”

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