By Dave Marshal
At the moment, it would seem that Virgil Van Dijk can do no wrong. A host of top English sides are in the hunt for the 25 year old Holland international. The Southampton centre back has been in imperious form all season as Claude Puel’s side look to go one better than last season under Ronald Koeman, when they finished sixth. The likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool have all been linked to the former Celtic man, but Everton have joined the mix as well. The Mirror reports that Manchester City and Manchester United are also keen on his signature, meaning Everton and Manchester United face an uphill climb in signing in the 12-time Holland international.
The Toffees manager signed the player from Celtic in a £13m deal last summer to replace Toby Alderweireld who left to join Tottenham, and under his guidance, he grew to become one of the very best in the country. He was particularly astounding as he kept the likes of Yannick Bolasie and Romelu Lukaku quiet when the Saints played against Everton on Sunday, a game in which Koeman believes is enough for the Everton board to splash the cash on his signature. He thinks the £40m rated defender is the perfect replacement for John Stones as he is a tough tackler, good serially and can build the ball out from the back.
In other shocking news, Manchester United are reportedly willing to sign Mikel Obi when the transfer window opens in January. The 29 year old Nigerian has not played a single minute of football under Antonio Conte, and would be willing to move outside Stamford Bridge. The Sun reports that, Mikel, whose contract expires at the end of the season has been identified by Jose Mourinho to offer steel in his midfield. United are currently without a specialist anchorman, who would offer Paul Pogba the freedom to do damage further up the field. Mikel was the subject of a transfer tussle by United and Chelsea way back in 2006, with the London side eventually winning the race for his signature.
He will be available for a cut price fee in January, but it would be interesting to see if the Nigerian would be ready to play for Mourinho again, as he struggled for game time under the Portuguese in West London.