Manchester City have emerged victorious in the race for Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk, beating Chelsea and Liverpool in the process. The Citizens have agreed a £60m ($77m) deal with the Saints for the Dutchman and the move will be completed when the transfer window opens in July.
The Mirror reports that the defender will earn £200,000 ($257,900) a week at the Etihad, an offer which was too good to be turned down for the 25-year-old, who missed the major part of last season with an ankle injury. Guardiola has his eyes set on overhauling his entire defence after finishing third in the 2016/17 campaign, and has all but agreed a £35m ($45m) deal to sign Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson Moraes from Benfica.
Van Dijk will partner John Stones in central defence next season. The Spaniard has also made plans to move for Tottenham Hotspur right-back Kyle Walker and Monaco left-back Benjamin Mendy to shore up full-back positions.
The news will come as a major blow for Jurgen Klopp, who had great plans for the Dutchman and will now have to restart his search for a commanding centre-back. The Reds defence have to cope with Champions League action next season in mid-week, something they did not have last year.
The cited transfer fee for the former Celtic defender will replace Stones' valuation as the most expensive defender in the world, elaborating on the money being spent by City to help Guardiola get back to title winning ways. The defender, who is currently recuperating from an ankle injury, has returned to light training and should be available to start before the Premier League begins in June.
The report states that City are contemplating letting go of Nolito after the Spaniard failed to have an influence in the recently concluded season, having fallen out of favour with Guardiola.