Manchester City have reportedly joined the race to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton, according to reports

Virgil van Dijk has been in the news quite frequently, with both Manchester United and Liverpool constantly linked with moves for the Dutch defender.

Jose Mourinho has been openly critical of his defensive options, and has been looking to bolster his defence for some time having been forced to play a makeshift defence of Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo at times.

Liverpool have managed only 3 clean sheet this season, and with Dejan Lovren still failing to completely convince Klopp that he is a viable long-term solution, Klopp is also looking to sign another centre half to partner the impressive Joel Matip.

However, according to The Express, they will both find the task of signing van Dijk a lot harder now as Manchester City have joined the race to sign the Dutch defender from Southampton.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Virgil van Dijk of Southampton closes down Sergio Aguero of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 23: Virgil van Dijk of Southampton closes down Sergio Aguero of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo courtesy Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

They report that Guardiola believes van Dijk would be an ideal partner alongside John Stones, and at 25 years of age, the defender could form a partnership with Stones for years to come.

Vincent Kompany’s constant injury problems mean that Guardiola cannot fully rely on the Belgian, and this has reportedly convinced him to make a move for the £30m-rated van Dijk.

The Dutchman only signed from Celtic last summer in a £13m deal and signed a five year contract, but this will not deter Manchester City who have no issue spending any amount on a player once they have decided to sign him.

Guardiola will be fully backed by the Manchester City brass, and if it comes down to a price war it is difficult to see either Liverpool or Manchester United pipping the Citizens to the Dutchman’s signature.

Claude Puel last week said he was keen to keep his star defender, but was unsure if they would be able to keep ahold of him :

“We will see for the future.For now he is with us and I am enjoying having this player with the squad and I hope for the future also.” he said.

“The club want to keep a good ambition on this league and for the future. We will see.”

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