Barcelona rival Chelsea, Liverpool for Southampton defender Van Dijk

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Pardew was pushing for a move for the Netherlands worldwide defender when he was still plying his trade in the Scottish Premier League and revealed the player was discussed at numerous Newcastle transfer meetings - especially during his final year at St James' Park. Even though the presence of Samuel Umtiti, Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano shows decent depth at the position, Los Blaugranas want more.

La Liga giants Barcelona will rival Liverpool for the signing of Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk, according to a report.

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Chelsea fell to a stock defeat away at Crystal Palace last weekend, losing further ground on Manchester City at the top of the table as the Blues' defence once again comes under question.

Southampton have remained firm about not selling Van Dijk, but the centre-back recently hinted his situation could change in the January transfer window.

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However, sources at Barcelona have told the Catalan media that they will not be making a move for Van Dijk anytime soon.

And the bad news for Liverpool is that Saints would rather sell to Barcelona than Liverpool if they are forced to finally cash in on the towering Dutchman. Although considering the former's experience in one of the best leagues in the world, there is no question van Dijk would be able to challenge for a starting spot at Camp Nou as soon as he arrives.

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