According to reports in England today, Premier League leaders Manchester City are considering a January swoop for Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk.
Van Dijk, who enjoyed a stellar campaign last season to establish himself as one of the Premier League’s most in-demand defenders, made no secret of his desire to move on from Southampton during the summer transfer window, with the Dutchman having gone as far as to hand in an official transfer request.
However, the board at St. Mary’s remained adamant all summer that they would not be willing to part ways with their crown jewel for any less than his reported £50 million+ price-tag.
In the end, neither of the 26-year-old’s main suitors, Chelsea or Liverpool, were prepared to fork out such a massive sum, with Van Dijk left with no option but to remain at St Mary’s for the 2017/18 season.
Despite Southampton’s strong stance over the Dutchman, it is still widely expected that he will move on from the club in the near future, with Liverpool viewed as his most likely destination.
However, as per a growing number of reports this afternoon, Manchester City, who were also briefly linked with a move for Van Dijk during the summer, are now ready to rival the Merseysiders for the Saints star’s signature.
The Citizens’ lack of strength in depth at the heart of their defence was brought to light in a major way this weekend, after Nicolas Otamendi’s suspension and a John Stones hamstring injury left Pep Guardiola with just the injury-prone Vincent Kompany and out-of-favour Eliaquim Mangala for an hour of his side’s victory over Leicester City.
With Kompany next to impossible to depend on for extended spells and Stones set for up to 6 weeks on the sidelines, City are rumoured to be strongly considering a winter move for another centre-half, with Van Dijk topping their wishlist.