By Harvey Byrne
Everton target Virgil van Dijk has a £25million buy-out clause in his Southampton contract, according to a report.
The Mirror has claimed that the 25-year-old centre-back could be at the heart of a £25million transfer chase from the Toffees, Manchester United and Manchetser City in January.
It is stated that manager Ronald Koeman will be eager to persuade his former player in a move to Goodison Park in the winter window.
Everton will be looking to bring in a new centre-back as soon as possible with regular Phil Jagielka steadily declining as he gets older.
The Toffees have also won just one of their last nine fixtures and will be looking for winter reinforcements as they look to improve on last season’s 11th placed finish.
Van Dijk could be the answer to the Everton’s problems and he has performed admirably on the south coast following a £13million move from Celtic in the summer of 2015.
The centre-back has starred at the back of Claude Puel’s team with 20 appearances this season, picking up from a successful campaign under Koeman.
He was rewarded with a new six-year deal in May, but that deal may be coming to an early end with the buy-out clause installed.
Football Insider verdict:
Southampton have shown incredible naivety if the buy-out clause fee is true. In the modern era star players are leaving their respective clubs for a much larger price than £25million and if the Saints have truly stuck that fee on their most important player it will prove to be a very costly error. He would be a very good signing for Everton, especially at the price, but they are likely to lose out to a bigger club. Van Dijk will be keen to return to the Champions League following his time with Celtic and if the likes of Manchester United and City are in for him, then he would sooner move to those two.
In other Everton transfer news, Koeman wants a reunion with this 28-year-old ace.