Manchester City are reportedly set to complete the £60 million signing of Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk.
According to Neil Moxley of the Daily Mirror, Manchester City are closing in on their third signing of the summer as they are set to complete a £60 million deal for Southampton’s central defender Virgil can Dijk.
Citizens boss Pep Guardiola has wasted little time in going about his transfer activity this summer as he has already recruited Bernado Silva and Ederson Moraes, and is also closing in on Monaco left-back Benjamin Mendy.
When Pep arrived last summer at the Etihad Stadium, he inherited an ageing Manchester City squad and struggled to impart his philosophy upon his players, which eventually saw him end the season without a trophy for the first time in his brief managerial career.
This undoubtedly infuriated the Spaniard, and he decided to release a number of first-team players who he deemed were not good enough for the Manchester outfit. He has now started to rebuild his side, and van Dijk appears to be the next piece of the jigsaw for his project at the Etihad Stadium.
The Dutch defender has been one of Premier League’s finest centre-backs for at least the last two seasons, and could have found his way into the PFA Team of the Year this time around if it wouldn’t have been for a horrific ankle injury that ruled him out for several months.
However, the player has recuperated from his injury and is now ready to resume playing at the top level. It is fair to say that he could have played his last game in a Southampton jersey, given the growing interest in his services this summer.
Chelsea and Liverpool have been in for the player for the last few months, but appear to have lost out on the race to Manchester City. This may have come as an even bigger blow for the Reds as the player was understood to be keen to work under Jurgen Klopp.
It now seems that Manchester is his next destination where he will join forces with Guardiola and slot into a back line comprising of the likes of Vincent Kompany, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.
Stones moved to the Etihad Stadium last summer, but struggled to adapt to the way the manager wanted to play, particularly due to not having a commanding presence at the back along with him.
Kompany is known to be injury prone, and that may be enough for van Dijk to become a first-team regular at the club and form a seamless understanding with the English defender as City will hope to challenge for the league next season.