Manchester City hold talks over Virgil van Dijk deal and plan to delay Alexis Sanchez arrival – reports

Manchester City’s transfer plans for the next 18 months are being reported by a host of journalists and publications this afternoon, suggesting there has been some sort of word from the club.

The two names mentioned are eternal target Alexis Sanchez, the Arsenal star out of contract in the summer, and Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk, who has been mentioned as one possible centre-back target in recent weeks.

According to reports, 26-year-old Van Dijk has emerged as a major target for Pep Guardiola, who has made it no secret that he is considering a new central defender in the January market. Vincent Kompany can no longer be relied on due to his persistent injuries, John Stones was sidelined for up to six weeks, and Eliaquim Mangala does not appear to be in Pep’s long-term plans.

An experienced campaigner, Van Dijk would not be cheap but has the ideal profile for a side such as Pep’s City. And the likes of the BBC report that City have already held talks with Southampton about a potential deal for the Dutch international, with the Saints possibly willing to do business.

Any deal for Alexis Sanchez may have to wait until summer time when he is available on a free transfer. There are said to be fears that Alexis arriving in January could have a Rodney Marsh effect and disturb the balance of Guardiola’s finely tuned Man City side.

According to the BBC, Arsenal believe keeping Sanchez when he was so adamant about leaving was a mistake, and they would be willing to do business next month. Reports from France suggest PSG are making a play for the 28-year-old, but it is felt the Chilean still wants to reunite with Pep and move to the Etihad.

Van Dijk and Alexis, if both are successfully recruited, could make up two of three strategic transfer targets planned to see the City squad through until the end of the 2018-19 season. The third is a holding midfielder to replace Yaya Touré, who will end his long City stay at the end of the season. Fernandinho, who has reportedly already signed a new contract, is 32 and City will hope to bring in support and a long-term replacement for him.

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