Despite claims by Txiki Begiristain yesterday that Manchester City would not dip into the transfer market next month, the club continue to be linked with Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk.
According to Duncan Castles in the Daily Record, City are not only interested but have sounded out the 25-year-old over a possible move. Chelsea are also keen to recruit the impressive Dutchman, but it is reported that his current preference would be to work with Pep Guardiola over Antonio Conte, despite Chelsea being the current league leaders.
Celtic will receive a 10 per cent cut of any transfer fee, which could be more than previously expected. There have been widespread reports in recent days that Van Dijk has a £25 million release clause, but according to Saints boss Claude Puel, no such thing exists, and the club would look for closer to £40 million for their star defender.
Southampton boss Claude Puel has denied that rumoured City target Virgil van Dijk has a £25m release clause. The Saints want £40m. [Mirror] pic.twitter.com/LXW4NyrxpU
— City Watch (@City_Watch) December 13, 2016
Will City make a January move for Van Dijk? Southampton have been eliminated from the Europa League and sit in 10th place, so a January move to City could be possible – unless Txiki was being honest in saying there would be no purchases next month.