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Manchester City to step up interest in Dutch footballer

Virgil van Dijk news

Man City interested in long-term Liverpool target

Manchester City are prepared to offer stiff competition to Liverpool in the race to sign Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk during the January transfer window.

The Netherlands international was heavily tipped to join Liverpool in the summer before they pulled out of the deal owing to a complaint from the Saints over an illegal approach.

Despite this, the Reds have continued to be linked with the Netherlands international, but they are now being rivalled by the Citizens, who are in desperate need of reinforcements in central defence.

City are on the search for defensive cover amid injuries to both John Stones and Vincent Kompany, and Van Dijk has been highligted as the priority signing for Pep Guardiola next month,

Should a deal not go through, the Catalan tactician could step up his interest in Inigo Martinez, who currently plys his trade for La Liga side Real Sociedad.

Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi are currently the only-fit centre-backs in the City ranks, but Fernandinho has also been utilised by Guardiola in the position when required.