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Does Everton losing three defenders make £60m Van Dijk deal plausible?

Southampton's Virgil van Dijk gestures

Could Everton make a move for Southampton's Virgil van Dijk, with Ramiro Funes Mori injured and Phil Jagielka and Matthew Pennington linked with moves away?

In arguably one of the more farfetched transfer stories of the summer so far, the Express reports that Everton are planning to seriously rival Liverpool for the signing of Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk.

The Saints have put a £60m price-tag on the Netherlands international, who has interested the Reds for some time and they actually publicly apologised for an approach they made for Van Dijk last month.

Southampton's Virgil van Dijk gesturesSouthampton's Virgil van Dijk gestures

Yet recent developments in the Toffees squad is increasingly making this rumour seem more plausible, with the same report referring to the fact Ramiro Funes Mori has suffered a setback in his recovery from a knee injury.

Not only that, but according to the Hull Daily Mail the loan switch of Matthew Pennington to Hull City is nearing completion, while another centre-back in Phil Jagielka has been strongly linked by the Sheffield Star with Stoke City and former club Sheffield United.

That leaves Ronald Koeman with Ashley Williams, youngster Mason Holgate and new signing Michael Keane as options in central defence, which would suggest that a further purchase is all the more likely.

Plus, having just received £75m, rising to £90m, for Romelu Lukaku (BBC) and with the financial backing of billionaire businessman and majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, splashing the cash on Van Dijk would not be completely out of the question.

Southampton's Virgil van Dijk in action with Everton's Romelu LukakuSouthampton's Virgil van Dijk in action with Everton's Romelu Lukaku

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