Pep Guardiola is very close to beating FC Barcelona to another big name signing. According to The Telegraph, Manchester City are close to landing Southampton centre-back Virgil Van Dijk, for an 80 million euro fee (60 million pounds). The Dutch defender has been on Barcelona's wish list as a direct replacement for Javier Mascherano, who could leave the club in the winter transfer window.
Van Dijk's Southampton days coming to a close
Van Dijk joined Southampton from Celtic in 2015, signing a contract until 2022. The defender was close to joining City in last year's winter transfer window. Current Saints manager Mauricio Pellegrino confirmed that the player is on the verge of leaving St. Mary's. "There is a great deal of expeculation regrarding Virgil, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens", the Argentine coach said.
Vincent Kompany's ongoing injury concerns together with John Stones' hamstring problems have forced Guardiola to thinking about strengthening his central defence seeing as he has little faith in Eliaquim Mangala. This time last year City tried to sign West Bromwich Albion's Johnny Evans but failed to reach an agreement. Twelve momnths on, Van Dijk is the candidate with the most options to join the Premier League leaders. Liverpool and Chelsea have also shown interest in signing Van Dijk but the Reds withdrew their pursuit of the player after being reported to the FA for tapping up.