Manchester City are planning a 61 million dollars swoop for Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk.

Discreet talks over a move for the Holland star have taken place over the last two weeks as City position themselves to get a deal done next month.

Van Dijk is aware of City’s interest and would find it difficult to resist the lure of Champions League football.

City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain is working on the deal, but if he is unable to do business with Saints next month, the club will continue to monitor the player’s progress ahead of another attempt next summer.

Pep Guardiola’s side are beset with defensive problems, having kept just three clean sheets in 17 league games.