Barcelona ready to sign Southampton defender a


​Barcelona are set to join Liverpool in the race to sign Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, according to ​the Mirror.

Scouts from the Catalan club reportedly watched the centre-back during the Netherlands’ World Cup qualifying game against Sweden last week.

And they are now believed to be targeting a move for Van Dijk, who was last summer identified as a prime target for Liverpool.

Netherlands v Sweden - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

The Reds failed to secure the signing of the Dutchman after Southampton complained of an illegal approach and refused to negotiate further.

Southampton are likely to be more willing to sell Van Dijk to a club elsewhere in Europe rather than a Premier League rival.

Manchester City and Chelsea have also both been linked with a move for the 26-year-old, the former having asked to be kept up to date with any developments regarding his future.


But Liverpool remain at the forefront of the battle to sign Van Dijk, who has made just two appearances for Southampton so far this season.

Stoke City v Southampton - Premier League

Jurgen Klopp’s side have been repeatedly criticised for their failure to bring in a centre-back over the summer, but the German coach has bemoaned the incessant complaints.

“We are a good side but we have been speaking since the beginning of the season about how we didn’t buy a defender in the summer,” Klopp told ​Sky Sports ahead of Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Manchester United at Anfield.

“This becomes like a self-fulfilling prophecy because every mistake we make goes back to that.”