According to ESPN journalist James Dodd, representatives of Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk have met with Arsenal hierarchy about the Dutchman moving to north London.
Arsenal fan Dodd tweeted: “#AFC have met with Van Dijk & his reps but I’m fairly sure all the big PL clubs have. I guess Saints would rather sell to us than Liverpool.”
Van Dijk is one of the most in-demand stars in the Premier League, having been linked with moves to Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea. However, Southampton insists that their star defender is not for sale, despite the Saints signing compatriot Wesley Hoedt earlier this week.
The centre-back has now taken part in a training session with the Saints first-team since boss Mauricio Pellegrino arrived at the club, as the 26-year-old wants to leave the south coast club.
Arsenal vulnerable at centre-back
Last summer’s signing of German centre-back Shkodran Mustafi was supposed to solve the Gunners problems at the heart of their defence. However, the former Everton defender endured a mixed debut campaign in north London.
In fact, media reports suggest that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is willing to listen to bids for Mustafi before the transfer window shuts.
Arsenal were so vulnerable at the back last at times that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was forced to switch to a back three, which in the Frenchman’s words gave the defence more cover.
The switch to a back three seemed to have help Arsenal’s defensive situation towards the end of last season. However, the Gunners have conceded four goals in their first two Premier League outings this season.
Arsenal unlikely to sign Virgil van Dijk
If Arsenal did sign Virgil van Dijk then it would prove something of a coup, even at the rumoured price of £60million. A number of top Premier League teams are after the centre-back, so Arsenal signing him would make a big statement.
He would be a good signing and add quality to the Gunners backline. However, this deal looks highly unlikely to happen. Arsene Wenger is careful with the clubs money and does not tend to spend big when it comes to defensive players.
Last summer’s signing of Mustafi was the exception, rather than the rule. This to me seems like yet another Van Dijk and Arsenal transfer story that has little to no foundation to it.
I would love to see Virgil van Dijk in an Arsenal shirt in the near future, but I just cannot see it happening.
Is Arsenal really plotting a move for Virgil van Dijk?