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Manchester City Set to Rival Liverpool in Pursuit of Southampton's Virgil van Dijk


Manchester City have joined Liverpool in the race to sign Southampton center back Virgil Van Dijk, as Pep Guardiola looks to add to his options in defense.

According to reports from the Mirror, Guardiola wants to add a center back to his side once the transfer window reopens in January, with the Dutch defender a main target for the City boss. 

Guardiola will face stiff competition in the form of Liverpool for the signing of Van Dijk however, as Jurgen Klopp's side are being continually linked with the center back despite their failed attempts to sign the 26-year-old in the summer, with Van Dijk himself trying to force a move away from the St Mary's Stadium. 

It has been a stellar season for Guardiola's side so far, winning 17 of their 18 Premier League games while qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages and the Carabao Cup semifinals, although Guardiola is keen to add to his squad rather than rest on his laurels. 

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Van Dijk is not the only defensive target that Guardiola has, with the Spaniard identifying Real Sociedad's Inigo Martinez and West Brom's Jonny Evans as other potential targets, with the latter being courted by the Citizens as recently as this summer. 

With the likes of John Stones injured and club captain Vincent Kompany injury-prone, Guardiola is desperate to recruit a center back in January with Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala the only recognized fit center backs the Etihad. 

Guardiola has also not given up hope on signing Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez, although it is believed that transfer could be put off until the summer, while a holding midfielder to provide cover for Fernandinho is also on the January wishlist. 

Manchester City and Guardiola will have to wait until January before they do any transfer business, leaving them to focus on a run of four Premier League games in the space of 11 days, beginning with a home game against Bournemouth tomorrow.