Arsenal are reportedly plotting to enter the race for Virgil Van Dijk, who is being tailed by the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City.
Daily Mirror are claiming that Arsenal are the latest club seeking to join the chase for Virgil Van Dijk. The Southampton star has been tailed by the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City. But, the report claims the Gunners are set to hijack their rivals’ pursuit of the Dutch international.
Arsenal’s interest stems from the fact that their narrow win over Middlesbrough saw Arsene Wenger deploy a 3-man defence at the back and there are reports that the Frenchman is thinking of making the change permanent, if he stays on at the club.
The Gunners are short at the back if Wenger does seek to deploy a 3-man defence, with Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel Paulista the only natural quality centre-backs while Rob Holding is still a distance away from being regular first-team material.
In fact, Gabriel too has shown spouts of inconsistency, something which Arsenal, and especially Arsene Wenger, cannot afford anymore. And unless Wenger does a Conte and converts Bellerin into a right-sided centre-back a-la Azpilicueta, they will need another central defender.
Virgil Van Dijk has been absolutely superb since joining Southampton. His consistent displays have attracted attention from the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City, both of whom were urged by their supporters to move for the player.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) April 19, 2017
— LFC Transfer Room (@LFCTransferRoom) April 19, 2017
The aforementioned duo have struggled defensively this season, with Liverpool and Manchester City both failing to find the perfect partner for their respective solid first-choice centre-backs, Joel Matip and John Stones – both of whom were summer arrivals.
But, January did not see the player moving to either club and he has since entered the radar of Chelsea as well. John Terry has confirmed he is set to leave the club at the end of the season and despite their incredible season, certain performances have shown that they need at least one quality central defender to shore up their defence.
However, Arsenal have now joined the other clubs in the pursuit of the central defender. Van Dijk is currently out for the remainder of the season and the interested clubs will be anxious to see how he is able to come back from the long-term injury layoff.
But, that has not deterred Southampton from placing a potential £50 million price tag on the 25-year-old. For now though, as Everton also eye Van Dijk, the report states that Chelsea are in pole position to land the player, as at the present moment.
It would be intriguing to see whether Arsenal entering the race can change the landscape of the transfer pursuit of Van Dijk in the coming weeks. But, one thing is certain – Virgil Van Dijk is set to move and most probably, to another Premier League club in a big-money move in the summer.