Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has targeted Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk as the man to replace the injury plagued Vincent Kompany.
The City skipper suffered yet another breakdown against Crystal Palace this weekend, and is set to miss up to six seeks of the campaign.
It’s his 35th separate injury since joining the club in 2008, and it seems Guardiola can’t afford to be without such a high-quality centre-half.
The jury is still out on Nicolas Otamendi, who was fortunate to not give away a penalty against Palace, while John Stones is still settling in at the Etihad outfit.
Van Dijk has consistently impressed since joining the Saints from Celtic in 2015, and has featured in every minute of the south coast club’s season this term.
But City won’t have it all their own way, with local rivals Manchester United also regularly linked with a move for the Dutch international.
Valued at just over £13m by transfermarkt.co.uk, City will have to spend big to break Van Dijk out of a contract with Southampton which runs into 2022.
But after Kompany’s latest set-back, Guardiola may feel a move is suddenly all the more imperative.
The Citizens will be hoping they can cover their skipper’s absence next week when they host title rivals Chelsea.
The bookies make City 21/20 favourites, but 5/2 shots Chelsea are on a seven-game winning streak.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing