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Arsenal weighing up huge £70m bid in January for Dutchman

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is weighing up a £70m offer for Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, reports respected Times correspondent Paul Joyce.

The usually reliable Joyce says that the Gunners will face stiff competition from Manchester City for the Dutchman’s signature as the Premier League leaders seek to strengthen their backline for the second half of the season.

There is one piece of good news in Arsenal’s pursuit of van Dijk though. City are said to be considering a cheaper alternative to the Saints centre back. Real Sociedad’s Inigo Martinez has a release clause of £32m, and the Spaniard is also someone that Pep Guardiola is interested in signing.

Liverpool were favourites for Van Dijk in the summer, but an illegal approach for the Dutch international poisoned relations between the Reds and Southampton.

It is likely the South Coast club would be more willing to do a deal with the Gunners or City for the 26 year old, rather than the Merseysiders, but will Wenger commit the funds to make the deal happen?

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