Arsenal Meet Virgil Van Dijk as Race to Sign Wantaway Saints Star Gathers Pace
Arsenal have reportedly held talks with Virgil Van Dijk and his agent over a possible surprise switch from Southampton.
Fox Sports journalist and avid Gunners fan James Dodd made the claim on his personal Twitter account as the in-demand defender's future continues to be speculated about.
Van Dijk is being chased by a host of top European clubs, but is still yet to leave St.Mary's with under a week left of the summer transfer window until it closes.
Liverpool had been in pole position to land the £60m-rated centre-back for much of the past three months but, with interest seemingly cooling over luring him to Anfield, London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal have moved to the head of the queue for his signature.
Southampton are still resisting any and all attempts to prise their club captain away from the south coast, despite the recent £15m acquisition of Wesley Hoedt from Lazio.
However, numerous reports including the Telegraph have insinuated that a bid of around £50m would be strangely be enough to persuade the Saints to cash in on the Netherlands international.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger needs defensive reinforcements after he sold Gabrial Paulista to Villarreal for around £10m, and only has two available centre-halves in Rob Holding and Shkodran Mustafi currently available for selection.
If Van Dijk is going anywhere this summer he's going to Liverpool. If he wanted to join another club it would've happened already.— - (@AnfieldRd96) August 25, 2017
The latter of those is seriously interesting Serie A side Inter Milan if reports in Italy are to be believed, and Wenger would be desperate for cover if he bizzarrely sanctioned Mutsafi's sale with Per Mertesacker out injured and Laurent Koscielny current suspended.
Van Dijk handed in a transfer request two weeks ago in a bid to force through a switch away from Southampton, but saw his request rejected by the club's board.
The 26-year-old is now in limbo with six days until the 2017 summer window slams shut, and will either spend the next four months sitting in the stands or be forced to climb down from his perch and become integrated back into Mauricio Pellegrino's first-team squad for the time being.