Arsenal keen to agree deal for £50m-rated star ahead of Premier League rivals Chelsea

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will reportedly seek to beat London rivals Chelsea in the pursuit to sign Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk in the summer.

The Netherlands international has been one of the most consistent centre-backs in the Premier League since his switch from Scottish champions Celtic in the summer of 2015.

A report from The Mirror suggests that the Gunners could vie for the signature of the Holland defender following Wenger’s recent change to a 3-4-2-1 formation.

The long-standing manager recently suggested that he needed more physicality in his backline, and this urged him to test out the three at the back system which worked with some success in the 2-1 victory at Middlesbrough.

Van Dijk had attracted interest from the north London club prior to his move to the South Coast two years ago, and they have now entered the chase for a deal which could cost in upwards of £50m.

As per John Cross’ report, the FA Cup semi-finalists have already made enquiries for the commanding centre-half, and they are hopeful of beating Chelsea to his services despite their struggles to achieve Champions League football for next season.

Arsenal are currently seven points off fourth-placed Manchester City with a game in hand, and they will have to go on a winning streak until the end of the campaign in order to qualify for the elite competition for the 20th season running.

Arsene Wenger’s side nevertheless has some silverware to play for this term in the form of the FA Cup where they take on an attack-minded Manchester City in the semi-final over the weekend.

Van Dijk is currently sidelined for the rest of the season with an ankle injury incurred during the 3-0 win over Leicester City back in January.

 

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