Manchester City have identified Dutch international defender Virgil van Dijk as a possible replacement for injury-stricken club captain Vincent Kompany, according to an exclusive report by the Daily Star Sunday.
The Southampton centre-back has been one of the Premier League’s most impressive defenders this season and didn’t put a foot wrong when the Saints recently visited the Etihad and took home a point, even making Sergio Agüero look quite average on the day.
And now Van Dijk, a player who is comfortable on the ball and has an 85% pass success rate this season, is on Pep Guardiola’s radar as the City boss looks to upgrade a shaky defence.
Manchester United and Liverpool have also been credited with an interest in the 25-year-old, but Guardiola’s wish for a new defender in January could prompt City to make a big money move for him.
According to the Star, Van Dijk is valued at around £30 million and Southampton could have trouble hanging on to him if a top club come knocking.
Multiple newspapers have reported in recent days that City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak is ready to sanction the purchase of a centre-back in January, should Guardiola choose one that can be signed. Van Dijk could be a shrewd acquisition for a squad blessed with attacking talent, but struggling on the defensive front.
Were Van Dijk to arrive, it could possibly spell the end of Vincent Kompany’s memorable career at the club. Guardiola decided to give Kompany another year to prove his fitness, but the skipper has managed just 250 minutes of game time this season.