Southampton CEO Phil Parsons has insisted the Saints won't sell players 'on the cheap', as Liverpool's Romeo Lavia transfer saga rolls on.
The 19-year-old Belgian has emerged as Liverpool's first choice target to replace Fabinho who left for Al Ittihad in a £40m deal.
Despite reportedly already agreeing personal terms with the player, the Reds have not been able to find compromise on price with Southampton – having seen two bids rejected to date.
A third (and possibly final) bid is expected soon, with Southampton holding firm on their £50m valuation.
Speaking to BBC Radio Solent Sport over the weekend, Saints chief executive Parsons suggested the club are open to a sale but only at 'the going rate'.
"We are looking at all options, but let's be realistic," he said. "We've got 30-plus players and we don't need 30-plus players. We're actually in a position to make sure the finances balance out quite well and you do get hit substantially being relegated.
"We can trim the squad, we can sell assets if we want to. We won't be selling assets on the cheap. And that's why we stood firm on a few.
“We will develop a lot of players over the coming years and there will be players who gone on to join top-four clubs but we won't be doing it at a cheap rate, we will be doing it at the going rate. If clubs want to place offers with us, we will look at them. We won't be saying just yes to any offer through the door.
“Southampton is a great club and if you do well for Southampton and deserve a move, maybe we'll look at it but let's focus on Southampton first and doing well and then we'll talk about other clubs second.”
With less than a week remaining until the start of the Premier League season, Liverpool do not have a fit, recognised defensive midfielder in the 'destroyer' mould.
In addition to Lavia, the Reds have also been linked with Andre (Fluminense), Chieck Doucoure (Crystal Palace), Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich) and, in news exclusively reported by Anfield Watch, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (Leicester City).