Virgil van Dijk’s transfer could change the Premier League race

Ben Talintyre Roar Pro

By , Ben Talintyre is a Roar Pro

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    Virgil van Dijk has handed in a transfer request to Southampton, opening a move to Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester City, who have all expressed interest in the Dutch central defender.

    All four teams could use a quality centre back as they try to further their chances for the title.

    It is no secret that Van Dijk has been trying to move away from Southampton since May, when he appeared to be set on a Liverpool move before the tapping up saga. Since then, he hasn’t been training with the first team squad nor been part of the majority of their preseason.

    So how does him handing in an official transfer request change anything?

    The 26-year-old said he felt like he had “no alternative” but to hand in a transfer request after becoming increasingly frustrated by their stance to not let him leave. Putting his desire to leave in writing puts all aforementioned clubs on red alert and gives Southampton a real dilemma, which will most likely mean they sell for the asking price of around 60 million euros.

    Acquiring such a high-quality player would bolster any side’s chances of a top-four finish or even the title. Liverpool are the front runners, as he made it clear previously that he would like to join the club. It would be a great signing for the Reds, as their defence lets them down year in, year out.

    Chelsea have fewer choices at centre back this season, with John Terry leaving the club and Kurt Zouma out on loan. Van Dijk would strengthen their defence and help their chances of back-to-back titles.

    Van Dijk would tighten up Arsenal’s backline, while Manchester City may have plenty of depth in that position but are never afraid to splash the cash on reinforcements, and this could be the signing that puts them in the frame for Premier League favouritism.

    The most likely destinations are Liverpool and Chelsea. But with Chelsea raising their efforts to sign Serge Aurier from Paris Saint-Germain, and Van Dijk’s preferred location being Liverpool, the likelihood is we will see a bid from the Reds if Southampton approve this request.

    Otherwise Liverpool are going have to be very careful and might not re-approach Van Dijk due to the original tapping up allegations and fear of prosecution on that.

    Hopefully an end to one of the most drawn-out sagas of this transfer window will come in the next few days.

    Where do you think Van Dijk will play in the 2017-18 season?