Arsenal chiefs have reportedly held talks with Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk.
Arsenal were linked with Van Dijk earlier in the summer but any interest they may or may not have held in the centre-back was overshadowed in the media by Liverpool allegedly tapping the 26-year-old up.
Now, according to Fox News Sports’ producer and Gooner, James Dodd on Twitter, the Gunners, as well as most of the Premier League, have reportedly held talks with the Dutchman over a move since the Saints would rather sell to Arsenal. Or pretty much anyone other than Liverpool.
#AFC have met with Van Dijk & his reps but I'm fairly sure all the big PL clubs have. I guess Saints would rather sell to us than Liverpool
— James Dodd (@JamesDoddUK) August 24, 2017
Liverpool were supposedly asked to pay £50m, which would be a feasible amount if Arsenal actually do go ahead and sell Shkodran Mustafi to Inter Milan.
Combine the £35m the Gunners are said to be demanding for the German, as well as the £10m from Gabriel’s sale for Valencia and then other small amounts that come from offloading other fringe players and £50m doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch.
Since Wenger admitted that it’s ‘difficult to predict’ whether Mustafi will leave this summer during his pre-Liverpool presser, Arsenal fans are becoming increasingly anxious about the Gunners’ lack of recognised centre-backs.
At the moment, we have Laurent Koscielny, who’s 31 and has a dodgy back and Achilles and most likely won’t stay fit for a whole season; Per Mertesacker, who’s 32 and openly admits he can’t play more than once a week anymore, plus he retires next year; Calum Chambers, who hasn’t played for Arsenal in the Premier League for over a year and is currently injured; and Rob Holding, who seems mentally scarred by his poor performance against Leicester.
Hopefully, these links with Van Dijk are genuine.