Don’t Expect Manchester City To Go All In For Virgil Van Dijk

As the winter transfer window looms ever closer, reports linking various quality players with the top teams around the continent fill our media pages.

Recently Premier League runaway leaders Manchester City have been heavily linked with Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk.

You can see why the stories have done the rounds; City have a history of having leaky defences and they’ve had a spate of injuries in that area recently. While Van Djik is a very composed centre half who can dominate in the air and can pass the ball too.

I don’t doubt that Virgil would improve Man City’s backline and that Pep Guardiola will like the qualities that the Dutch defender possess but I think the price will be a sticking point.

Obviously the Etihad side aren’t short of a few bob but they don’t splash the cash unnecessarily as they have done in the past.

If reports in the summer are true and that The Saints want at least £65m for the central defender, then that would represent the highest fee that they’ve ever paid for one player (the previous record was £55m on Kevin De Bruyne).

Would City and Pep fork out so much on Virgil?

I just don’t think so.

Firstly, the club wouldn’t guarantee him a starting place.

John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi have both enjoyed good campaigns thus far and their partnership has improved vastly since last year’s average showings. Then you have stalwart captain Vincent Kompany to come in and shore things up again, when he’s fit.

City currently hold an eleven point lead at the top of the English top flight and have still to lose a league game. They look sensational going forward and have scored much more than any rival. Interestingly enough, they’ve also got the best defensive record in the league too (along with Manchester United).

The arrival of Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson has given the whole side a renewed confidence and it shows.

The fact Kompany keeps breaking down, shows why there’s a need for another centre-back in the City fold. I also get the impression Guardiola isn’t a huge fan of Eliaquim Mangala.

With that in mind, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Man City bring in another defender in January but they might believe that there’s better value for their buck in the market.

Just to name a few, you have;  Lyon’s Mouctar Diakhaby, Lazio’s Stefan de Vrij, Real Sociedad’s Inigo Martinez and West Brom’s Jonny Evans.

This week they’ve been linked with Burnely man James Tarkowski.

A swoop for Leonardo Bonucci could also be on the cards. The Italian international is a world class talent and could be available if he’s unhappy at Milan, plus there’s speculation that AC Milan might need to sell if they can’t break into the Champions League places (they currently lie in ninth place in Serie A).

Many of these players would come in for less than the fee that Southampton would demand for Van Djik.

Then you also have to factor in that Pep and his board might want to bring in a few other new names next month.

With Benjamin Mendy still out injured and Danilo not getting too many starts, a new left-back might be on Man City’s wish-list.

They also don’t have much in the way of cover if defensive midfielder Fernandinho picks up a serious knock. The Brazilian has been fantastic this term and that’s another reason for the great defensive record The Citizens have enjoyed this year. You could see why a new holding midfielder might arrive at the Etihad in the near future.

I’m also convinced Manchester City will go again for Alexis Sanchez.

All in all, I just don’t see Man City overspending on any player in this up and coming window. Everything is going well in the Premier League and a few new names could come in to keep the momentum going but it won’t come at the cost of their team’s balance.

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