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Man United and Chelsea to lock horns for star centre-back who is rumoured to have a £25M buy-out clause

Manchester United and Chelsea are reportedly set to go head-to-head to sign Southampton centre-back Virgil Van Dijk, according to The Times.

The Times report that Van Dijk’s recent imperious form at St. Mary’s has placed him on the radar of Blues boss Antonio Conte. They also believe that Jose Mourinho is keen on bringing the Dutchman to Manchester United.

The 25-year-old could also be realistically for both sides too. The Mirror reported a few days ago that Van Dijk has a £25 million buy-out clause in his Southampton contract. If this is the case, it is considerably below what would be his actual market value in the current climate.

Since switching to a three-at-the-back, Chelsea’s defence have scarcely put a foot wrong. On the surface, the Blues may not appear to be in any desperate need of defensive reinforcements. However, if Van Dijk does become available, Conte may look to make a move and replace Gary Cahill; whose form tends to take frequent nose dives.

The desire for defenders could not be clearer at Old Trafford. Mourinho has repeatedly had to choose make-shift back fours in recent weeks amid injury woes and faltering performances. Van Dijk could well provide the steel and assurance that The Special One needs.

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