Wednesday 21 August 2019

Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City all targeting the Premier League's most wanted defender in January

Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, pictured, is not set to be sold in January
Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, pictured, is not set to be sold in January
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Southampton are determined to do all they can to hang on to Virgil van Dijk in the January transfer window, as they brace themselves for mega-money offers from Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City for their Dutch centre-back.

Independent.ie have been informed by sources close to the defender that his club have no desire to sell Van Dijk next month, with Southampton viewing him as a key member of their set-up moving forward.

However, that stance may be shifted if bids in excess of £40m are lodged in the next few weeks and the player confirms he is keen to leave.

Van Dijk has emerged as a chief transfer target for a host of top Premier League clubs after his impressive performances for the Saints since his move from Celtic in the summer of 2015.

Named Southampton Player of the Year last season, Van Dijk was handed a bumper six-year contract by the south coast club, with Saints boss Claude Puel denying that deal includes a £25m buy-out clause that could be activated by rival clubs.

“It’s not true,” stated Puel amid reports that Van Dijk could be bought for half of the fee Manchester City paid to sign John Stones from Everton last summer.

“After this I will make no comment about speculation, just to say that Virgil is an important player for the team,” he added. “For me it’s not a possibility to see him leave.”

Everton have also been linked with a big-money move for Van Dijk, but their ambitions are likely to be doused if the Premier League’s top sides enter into a bidding war for the 25-year-old centre-back.

Van Dijk has made few comments on his position at Southampton and the club are confident that he will not agitate for a move next month as they look to cement their position in the Premier League and push for success in the EFL Cup as they look forward to a semi-final tie against Liverpool next month.

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