Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk is set to become the world’s most expensive defender as the St. Mary’s club are now all but resigned to losing the Dutch International during the upcoming January transfer window with Premier League leaders Manchester City believed to be in pole position to land his signature.
However, Van Dijk will not be cheap with Southampton looking for offers in excess of £70 Million for the player who has not featured in the club’s last three games amongst ever increasing speculation over who his next club will be.
Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City are all interested in signing the 26 Year old who was heavily tipped to leave St. Marys in the summer, indeed Van Dijk went as far as even handing in a transfer request to try and force a move but Southampton stood firm and kept their man.
A £65 Million bid from Liverpool was rejected in the summer amidst accusations that the Anfield club were guilty of tapping up the player and they were forced to back off and issue an apology. Although Arsenal were also one of the clubs linked with Van Dijk in the close season it is believed that their interest in the player has now cooled off.
Sources close to Van Dijk say that the prospect of working under manager Jurgen Klopp appeals greatly to the Dutchman and Liverpool will be hoping that this will be enough to tempt the defender to Merseyside instead of Manchester.
As well as the interest from Premier League clubs it is also thought that Spanish giants Barcelona are monitoring the situation closely.
Any upcoming deal will also be good news for Scottish Champions, Celtic, from whom Southampton signed Van Dijk, the terms of that deal entitling the Parkhead club to 10 per cent of whatever transfer fee is eventually paid.