Where next for Virgil van Dijk? Five options for the Southampton defender
After Liverpool abandoned their hopes of signing Virgil van Dijk, we look at what the future holds for the Southampton defender…
Jurgen Klopp thought he’d won the race to sign the Dutchman after he told the Reds they were his preferred destination this summer, ahead of Chelsea and Manchester City.
However, Sky sources reported on Tuesday that Saints had reported Liverpool to the Premier League and asked them to investigate an alleged illegal approach for the Netherlands international centre-back.
This led to Liverpool confirming they ended their interest in Van Dijk and the club apologised to Southampton for their conduct in pursuit of the defender.
So what now for Van Dijk? We look at the 25-year-old’s options…
Sky Sports News HQ revealed in April that Van Dijk was one of six players being targeted by Manchester City ahead of the summer transfer window.
City were understood to be „extremely interested“ in the Netherlands international with Pep Guardiola identifying him as a priority target as he looks to strengthen his defensive options this summer.
The interest cooled after it appeared Liverpool had won the race for his signature but following the breakdown of that potential move could City now re-enter the race to sign the 25-year-old?
Stay at Southampton
Southampton are determined to hold on to the Dutch international, with club chairman Ralph Krueger stating last month the Saints would be prepared to reject bids of up to £60m in order to keep the 25-year-old.
Despite significant interest from Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea since then, Sky sources are adamant that Southampton have always considered the player not for sale.
They’ve already seen off the interest of Liverpool, but can they convince their captain to stay at St Mary’s and keep him out of the clutches of the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea.
Chelsea have also shown significant interest in Van Dijk this summer with Antonio Conte a huge admirer of the Dutch defender.
And with the Premier League champions losing John Terry, Van Dijk could be an ideal replacement as they look to strengthen their squad ahead of an assault on the Champions League next season.
Manchester United are planning on signing a central defender this summer and the three options they are pursuing are Michael Keane, Virgil van Dijk and Victor Lindelof, according to Sky sources.
With Liverpool now out of the race to sign Van Dijk, could United step up their interest in the Southampton man and make him their number one priority?
Reports have linked Van Dijk with a summer move to the Emirates Stadium.
It’s not the first time the former Celtic defender has been linked with a move to north London with Van Dijk reportedly on Arsenal’s radar before he joined Southampton in 2015.
And with the Frenchman now favouring a three-man defence and on the hunt for a new defender, the Dutchman could be on his wishlist again