MANCHESTER CITY have reportedly joined the race for Southampton star Virgil van Dijk.
The Mirror claims long-term suitors Liverpool face a major battle to land the centre-back in January.
City are in the market for another defender after losing John Stones for the next six weeks.
Captain Vincent Kompany continues to suffer recurring setbacks, while Eliaquim Mangala is surplus to requirements.
And Van Dijk could be just the man to push City over the line in their quest for a third Premier League title, with his technical ability well suited to Pep Guardiola’s style of play.
Southampton rate their star man at £60million, and Van Dijk would jump at the chance of a move away from St Mary’s after being denied an Anfield switch last summer.
He has only just returned to the Saints’ first team after a self-imposed exile.
But Van Dijk could now find himself heading to the home of the champions-elect, leaving Liverpool empty-handed after a long-winded transfer saga.
Speaking after City’s 2-0 win away to Leicester on Saturday, Guardiola said: “We’re going to discuss [signings] when January is coming. We are going to think about it, but not because John is in that position.
“To play in all the competitions, you need a bigger squad because the players don’t have time for regeneration before the next game.”