Van Dijk race reopens

The race to sign Southampton centre back Virgil van Dijk is back on again after favourites Liverpool cooled their interest. The Reds appeared to be in pole-position for the Dutchman's signature but they withdrew their advances after Southampton accused them of illegally approaching the 25-year-old.

Jurgen Klopp had identified Van Dijk as a key target to improve his sides' leaky defence and it looked as though a deal in excess of £50 million was close. However things took an unexpected turn when the Saints threatened to report Liverpool to the Premier League over their pursuit. This saw Liverpool back track in their advances and they were forced to issue the following statement: 

"Liverpool Football Club would like to put on record our regret over recent media speculation regarding Southampton Football Club and player transfers between the two clubs.

"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."

So with Liverpool now out of the running, Manchester City are now the bookies' favourites for his signature. After only finishing third last season, Pep Guardiola will be desperate for a much better showing in the Premier League next season and he has wasted little time in adding to his squad. This summer he has already brought in Bernardo Silva from Monaco and goalkeeper Ederson for Benfica. With Vincent Kompany's injury problems over the last few years and Nicolas Otamendi's failure to convince, Guardiola could be well be on the look out for another central defender.

According to Sky Sports, City are extremely interested in Van Dijk but will only consider making a move if Southampton "hugely reduce" their asking price. William Hill currently offer odds of just 5/4 that Van Dijk makes the move to the Etihad though Skybet have the move at a slightly more attractive 9/4.

Despite Liverpool's statement indicating they have dropped their interest, they remain shortly priced by the bookies' to bring Van Dijk to Anfield. They are as short as 2/1 with Paddy Power, which is in fact the same price that he joins Manchester City although BetVictor have the move at the longer odds of 4/1.

Chelsea are another club that have been credited with holding an interest and they are just 3/1 with Ladbrokes to be the former Celtic man's next club. With Antonio Conte's men back in the Champions League next season, they will be playing far more games next season and the Champions will need to strengthen their ranks. With John Terry leaving, defensive reinforcements are likely to be high on Conte's wishlist so it's perfectly plausible that Chelsea would want Van Dijk.

Their is of course every chance that Van Dijk could also remain a Southampton player at the end of the summer window. He signed a new six-year contract at St. Mary's only last year so there is no pressure on the Saints to sell. However they have shown over the last few seasons that they are prepared to part company with their star players if they receive the right fee. Skybet have Van Dijk remaining a Southampton player after the window at odds of 15/8.

Written By:- Ben Gledhill (About our Authors)
Posted on:- 08/06/2017 - 13:34 PM
Filed in:- Football Betting News, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City

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