After spending almost £50 million on signing a new defender last season, Manchester City and their manager Pep Guardiola are now ready to do it again.
According to the Times, City are planning to offer a deal totalling £100 million to take Virgil van Dijk from Southampton while bulldozing Chelsea and Liverpool out of their path — that includes meeting Saints’ demands for a £50m transfer fee while offering £180,000 in weekly wages to the player himself (i.e. £10m-a-year for five years).
Chelsea were thought to be in the lead for Van Dijk's signature, but City’s bid is apparently £10,000 per week better than Chelsea’s £170,000, which in turn was a whopping £50,000 better than Liverpool’s attempt. Maybe the Reds were counting on some frequent customer discount? In any case, it looks like City have taken over pole position.
Along with Van Dijk, City are interested in acquiring Tottenham Hotspur right back Kyle Walker and Chelsea transfer target Benjamin Mendy, who currently deputises as AS Monaco’s left back. Having already signed Bernardo Silva for €50m, City are also close to announcing the signing of Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson from Benfica, with the Portuguese club already confirming the £34.7 million deal in an official notice to the country's stock market regulators. And surely, City are also one of many clubs looking to pry Alexis Sánchez from Arsenal. Busy busy busy!
Having finished 15 points behind Chelsea in the Premier League this season and well below their initial expectations with Guardiola as their manager, City have entered the market with a vengeance not only to reinforce their team but also to beat their rivals to the punch in the process. That doesn’t mean it’s time to panic however. As long as Chelsea conduct smart business, we should be able to keep challenging the huge (YUGE!) investments from up north in Manchester.