Former Southampton forward Gordon Watson has insisted that defender Virgil van Dijk is "better than" a move to Liverpool.
The Dutchman has been strongly linked with a move to Anfield throughout the summer, and is training alone having informed coach Mauricio Pellegrino of his intention to leave.
But Watson has claimed that Van Dijk should not even be considering a move that would "just be a pay day".
“The situation is laughable,” Watson said, quoted by the Daily Echo. “He’s our best player and prized asset. He’s up there with the two best centre-backs in the Premier League.
“If he went to a Barcelona he’d be waved off with everyone behind him. Nobody would deny him of such a move.
“But Liverpool? No, he’s way better than that. The whole thing is dirty, after everything that’s happened.”
Watson added: “He’s been ill-advised. A move to Liverpool would just be a pay day, it wouldn’t be for trophies or accolades.
“It’s only for money and with Barcelona in need of a defender, you might have them knocking on the door soon.
“Van Dijk should only be moving to one of the best clubs in the world - Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona.
“If he went to one of them, he’d leave with Saints’ best wishes. You go to Liverpool, there’s no guarantee of trophies, just money.
“To further his career, he needs a move to one of the best.”