Pep Guardiola has confirmed that he will not be looking to sign Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk in the summer

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has passed up on the opportunity to sign Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk in January amid reports linking him to the Dutchman. The 26-year-old has become one of the league’s finest defenders and is subject to transfer interest from a number of top Premier League sides.

Speaking to the press ahead of City’s Boxing Day clash against Hull City, the Guardian quoted Guardiola as saying:

“He is not going to come here – it is impossible. At this stage I don’t think we will be buying anyone in January but that could change over the next few weeks.

“We might need to strengthen in one position, maybe a full-back, but right now I have no immediate plans.”

This quote will come as a huge relief to the other suitors of van Dijk who now see City out of the picture. It will, however, be a major blow to the player who had talked up the possibility of working with Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 11: Virgil van Dijk of Southampton and Viktor Fischer of Middlesbrough battle for the ball during the Premier League match between Southampton and Middlesbrough at St Mary's Stadium on December 11, 2016 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)

Van Dijk is a man in demand (Photo Courtesy: Alex Broadway/Getty Images)

Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool have shown a reported interest in the 26-year-old as they look to strengthen their defence come January.

Jose Mourinho signed a centre-back in Eric Bailly in the summer, and the Ivorian has quickly adapted to life in the Premier League. However, the former Villarreal defender picked up an injury four months into the season, and is still to recuperate from it.

The United boss has fielded Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo as a makeshift pair, but he certainly will be looking to add a bit of solidity if he is to challenge for the top four this season.

Van Dijk could also be a decent signing for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. The Reds have looked shaky defensively – conceding a number of goals from set pieces. The Southampton defender’s aerial presence will certainly benefit Klopp’s quest for his first Premier League title.

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