Transfer News: Southampton prepared to sell Virgil van Dijk in January

Southampton are reportedly ready to listen to offers for Virgil van Dijk, who is being targeted by Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City for a January move.

According to a report by Daily Mirror, Southampton are open to finally letting Virgil van Dijk depart from St. Mary’s when the transfer window reopens in January. Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City are in pursuit of the Dutch defender, who is set to be available for £70 million.

Uncertainty has been hanging around van Dijk’s Southampton future, with widespread rumours linking him with a move away from St. Mary’s pretty much all through the year. The player nearly realised his wish to leave Southampton in the summer, after submitting a transfer request. But, a move failed to materialise.

Liverpool were among the favourites to sign the Dutch international, but were put on the back foot after apologising for allegedly tapping up van Dijk. Eventually, the player did not leave Southampton, making a belated start to his season and making 14 appearances in all competitions.

But, after being omitted from Saints’ most recent matchday squad, speculation has grown like wildfire once again, with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City still interested in signing van Dijk in the winter transfer window.

Chelsea’s interest in van Dijk perhaps stems from the fact that David Luiz is being heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge. A move for the 26-year-old would see Antonio Conte bolster his defensive options, with the Chelsea boss being vocal about the need to spend more to improve his squad.

Liverpool, on the other hand, are in desperate need for some defensive reinforcements, with neither Dejan Lovren nor Ragnar Klavan proving to be consistent enough. The duo’s inconsistencies often leaves Joel Matip with too much to do, making a centre-back top priority for Liverpool.

Meanwhile, at Manchester City, Pep Guardiola has already hinted at the club possibly adding a defender in January, with John Stones sidelined with a long-term injury. Vincent Kompany’s fitness troubles are all too well known, while Eliaquim Mangala doesn’t seem to have his manager’s faith.

With Nicolas Otamendi a man in demand too, a centre-back has become the need of the hour, making van Dijk a viable target. And now, Southampton are ready to sell the player too, providing Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City a spring in their step.

But, the Saints will hold out for £70 million for van Dijk, which would shatter the world record transfer fee for a defender. What now remains to be seen is if Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City are prepared to shell out the staggering figure to sign the player next month.

The fact that he will not be cup-tied in the Champions League will certainly be appealing despite the sum being quite eye watering. It will now be interesting to see if van Dijk finally realises his wish to leave Southampton as a transfer battle involving Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City seem to be setting up.

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