Date: 22nd December 2016 at 6:54am
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Manchester City are ready to pay Southampton £50m to land Virgil van Dijk in January.

According to a report in The Daily Mail City’s defensive problems have forced the issue with Pep Guardiola needing an instant solution for City’s faltering title bid and Champions League ambitions.

Earlier this week Southampton claimed that they wouldn’t listen to any January offers for van Dijk but a bid of £50m is bound to bring them to the negotiating table.

Saints signed van Dijk in August 2015 from Celtic with the fee quoted ranging between £10m and £12m.

Celtic will have at least a 10% sell on clause on any profit meaning that Brendan Rodgers could be looking at an extra £4m to spend on getting his side into shape for six-in-a-row and next season’s Champions League bid.

Chelsea have been strongly linked with van Dijk over the last week but if £50m is put on the table the defender looks like being City bound ahead of the Champions League matches with Monaco.