According to a recent report in the Mirror, Barcelona are interested in the signature of Virgil Van Dijk. The La Liga giants have joined the race with the Premier League duo of Chelsea and Liverpool already in.
The Dutch International is one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League since his arrival in 2015. Virgil Van Dijk started his youth career with Willem II but moved out to Groningen the following season. In 2011, he began his senior career with the side in Eredivisie.
After spending three seasons in Holland, the defender joined Celtic for a reported fee of £2.6 million. Van Dijk became a star in the Scottish League, helping the Hoops to two league titles. He featured in the PFA Scottish Team of the Year on both occasions.
After Celtic’s failure to qualify for the Champions League at the start of the 2015-16, the Dutchman was linked with a move to England. On 1st September 2015, Southampton completed a £13 million move for the player. Since them, Virgil Van Dijk has made 68 appearances in all competitions, scoring 7 goals.
This summer, the 26-year old was one of the prime targets for Liverpool. Southampton reported the Merseyside club to the FA suggesting that they made an illegal approach to sign the Dutchman. Eventually, The Reds were forced to apologise publically and end their interest in the defender.
Ahead of the start of this season, Van Dijk handed in a transfer request to force a move out of Southampton. However, the Saints somehow managed to keep hold of him for now.
With the player already expressing a desire to leave, a number of clubs are said to be interested in luring him out in January. Chelsea and Liverpool were leading the way but a new suitor has seemingly come in.
La Liga giants, Barcelona are closely monitoring the player’s situation at the moment. The Blaugrana side is keen to add to their defensive options to improve their title hopes this season.
This is bad news for the Premier League giants who were planning a move for Van Dijk. According to reports, Southampton prefers to sell the player aboard instead of improving other teams in their league, putting Barcelona in pole position.