Arsenal plot £45m defender swoop to complete defensive line

Transfer rumours and paper review- Monday July 17 Van Dijk may force through Liverpool switch Chelsea preparing Aguero bid Arsenal join race for Morata

Transfer rumours and paper review- Monday July 17 Van Dijk may force through Liverpool switch Chelsea preparing Aguero bid Arsenal join race for Morata

Liverpool responded with statement insisting they had ended their pursuit, but after a Premier League investigation excused the Reds of any wrongdoing, it is understood they are back in the hunt.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is reportedly "weighing up" a £45 million bid for Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk.

According to an exclusive report covered by the Sun, the Dutch center half is ready to secure his move to Liveprool by handing in a transfer request to leave the Saints this summer.

Arsenal are looking to rebuild this summer after a poor season, which saw them miss out on Champions League football for the first time in 20 years.

It remains to be seen whether Van Dijk's apparent desire to move to Anfield will secure him a move to Merseyside this summer.

Other sides including Chelsea and Arsenal have been paired with an interest, but it still looks as though Liverpool lead the race, and their previously strong relationship with Southampton could be important.

The Gunners are likely to start with a three-man defence next season, with both Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi expected to be starters, but Van Dijk's arrival could complete that set-up; adding competition for places with the likes of Gabriel Paulista and Rob Holding.

Liverpool have bought many players from Southampton during recent years and among them are Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne and Dejan Lovren.

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