Arsenal are set to join title rivals Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea in the race to sign Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk this summer, according to reports.
Proven Premier League Defender
The 26-year old has been a top target for various clubs over the past 12 months as he was the best defender in entire Premier League last season.
van Dijk moved to Southampton for £13m from Celtic and will reportedly break the world record fee for a defender as the Saints are demanding a massive £60 million to let him leave for the upcoming season.
Arsenal Ready to Break Records
The Gunners have already broke their transfer record by signing Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette last week for around £50m. Mesut Ozil’s £43m transfer fee was the previous expensive transfer for the club.
However, Arsene Wenger is ready to splash the cash once again for van Dijk as Southampton are playing hard ball over fee negotiations with other clubs so far. Both Manchester City and Chelsea had failed to agree to a deal despite showing interest in the player. Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola was keen to sign him while Antonio Conte targeted him to strengthen his back three. There
On the other hand, Liverpool had dropped their interest in the player earlier but the Reds could be in the hunt once again despite Southampton’s reluctance to do business with the Reds.
‘Liverpool would like to put on record our regret over recent media speculation regarding Southampton Football Club and player transfers between the two clubs,’ they said amid fear they could be punished for breaking transfer rules.
‘We apologise to the owner, board of directors and fans of Southampton for any misunderstanding regarding Virgil van Dijk. We respect Southampton’s position and can confirm we have ended any interest in the player.’
According to The Sun, Arsenal could be in pole position to sign the Dutch international as they look to strengthen their own defense. The Gunners had signed Shkodran Mustafi last summer but the German has looked far unconvincing so far and both Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker are reaching the fag end of their respective careers.
A move for 26-year old van Dijk would be an ideal investment at the moment for the Gunners as Wenger is determined to win the Premier League next season.