Jose Mourinho has made signing Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk a priority in a bid to fix his defence at Manchester United.
As reported by the Sunday People (via the Mirror), Mourinho has been largely unimpressed by his defenders this season, with all-but summer signing Eric Bailly and full-back Antonio Valencia disappointing the manager and his staff.
While the efforts of Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian in the 3-1 win over Swansea City on Sunday were praised by the Portuguese, the likes of Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw are struggling to show him that they deserve to play.
Mourinho is eager to add some leadership, aggression and grit to his defensive line, and the newspaper indicates that Van Dijk has been made the top name on a list of potential centre-back signings.
Valued at €42 million, the Dutchman has been in very good form for the Saints this term, and has been one of the Premier League’s most consistent defenders since moving from Celtic in 2015.
In March the Saints stopper Fraser Forster raved:“He [Van Dijk] is a massive player for us. He’s big, strong and very quick. He’s fantastic on the ball and he’s been a great signing for us”.
The 25-year-old is viewed as a long-term signing for the Red Devils, with other rumoured targets Diego Godin and Jose Fonte already over 30, while coming with the bonus of having top flight experience.