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Manchester City to compete with Liverpool for Premier League centre-back

Manchester City to compete with Liverpool for Premier League centre-back

Man City to rival Liverpool for Van Dijk in January
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Manchester City are reportedly set to go head-to-head with Liverpool in the pursuit of Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk.

The Netherlands international was heavily tipped to seal a move to Anfield last summer before the Saints lodged an official complaint about an illegal approach for which the Reds apologised.

According to The Mirror, the Citizens are likely to join the race for the Dutch footballer with Pep Guardiola stressing the need for additional recruits in the defensive department.

The Citizens possess the second best backline in the division behind only Manchester United, but they will have to cope with John Stones, who is sidelined for around six weeks with a hamstring injury.

"We're going to discuss when January is coming. We are going to think about it, but not because John is in that position," Guardiola told reporters, as per ESPN. 

"To play in all the competitions, you need a bigger squad because the players don't have time for regeneration before the next game."

Van Dijk returned to the Saints first-team after overcoming his ankle injury in late September, and he has since featured in seven games under Mauricio Pellegrino.

Manchester City host Feyenoord in the fifth game of their Champions League group on Tuesday night and Guardiola will want to cement the first spot with a victory over the Dutch champions.