By Harvey Byrne

Ronald Koeman is keen on reuniting with Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk at Everton, according to a report.

The Mirror claim that the Toffees are targeting a high-class centre-back following the sale of John Stones to Manchester City in the summer.

The England international left Goodison Park for Pep Guardiola’s team in a pricey £47.5million deal.

Now the Mirror have reported that Everton have targeted van Dijk and are unlikely to be deterred by the 25-year-old’s £40million price tag.

Koeman initially brought his fellow Dutchman to Southampton in a £13million deal from Scottish giants Celtic.

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However, the experienced boss will find it harder to obtain van Dijk this time, as the defender only signed a new six-year deal in May.

Additionally, Manchester United are also said to be eyeing a move for the centre-back and they showed in the summer that they are willing to pay big money for their targets.

Van Dijk has been a key figure of the Saints defence since joining and has started all 47 league fixtures since his arrival on the 2015 summer deadline day.

Koeman already added experienced centre-back Ashley Williams to his side in the previous window, but after just one win from their last nine fixtures he will now be looking for January additions.

Football Insider verdict:

Realistically van Dijk is going to leave Southampton for a better side than Everton. The Toffees are unlikely to get Champions League football next season and that is the type of club van Dijk is going to move to. Despite the personal relationship between Koeman and the defender, the one between Southampton and Koeman is not so strong with the way he departed and the south coast club will also be reluctant to enter into negotiations with him, especially for a key man. Everton missed out on the likes of Marko Arnautovic, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Moussa Sissoko in the summer and it is expected that van Dijk will be another name to add to the unwanted list.

In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees are lining up a bid for the next Zlatan Ibrahimovic.