Man City join Man United and Liverpool in £30m battle for Premier League star

​The Dutchman has become a key figure at the heart of Claude Puel’s defence since singing from Celtic last summer.

His performances for club and country have prompted the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool to show interest.

And according to the Daily Star, Pep Guardiola also wants him as a replacement for Vincent Kompany.

The club captain has struggled for fitness in recent seasons with his latest injury coming against Crystal Palace last weekend, ruling him out for six weeks with ligament damage.

Virgil van Dijk is attracting interest from three Premier League clubs

Guardiola believes Van Dijk would be an ideal partner alongside John Stones, but he faces tough competition from his Premier League rivals if he is to land his signature.

Despite Van Dijk only signing a five-year contract when he joined from Celtic, that has not deterred Manchester United and Liverpool.

Jose Mourinho has outlined the £30m-rated defender as a priority target as he looks to bolster his defence.

Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp also has the 25-year-old in his sights with the German keen to address his defensive concerns as they go in search of their maiden Premier League title.

Virgil van Dijk signed a five-year deal with Southampton last year

Southampton are keen to keep hold of their star man but Puel knows it will difficult to keep him at St Mary’s with big clubs monitoring him.

Pep Guardiola is keen to bring the Southampton defender to Manchester City

He said last week: “We will see for the future.

“For now he is with us and I am enjoying having this player with the squad and I hope for the future also.

“The club want to keep a good ambition on this league and for the future. We will see.”

 Van Dijk is expected to start for Southampton today when Everton make the trip down south (4.30pm).

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