The Catalan says that his side do not want to sign Southampton’s Dutch centre-back at this moment in time but hints that he could bring in a full-back in the January window

Pep Guardiola says it is “impossible” for Manchester City to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton in January.

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City have been linked with a £50 million move for the Dutch centre-back and Goal understands that the club will sign him if the opportunity presents itself.

Club officials, however, are adamant that only Gabriel Jesus, who was signed in the summer but allowed to remain with boyhood club Palmeiras until the end of the Brazilian season, will join up with the squad in the upcoming transfer window.

Guardiola believes that new arrivals are unlikely but, while he does hint that he could do with a new full-back, he insists that there is absolutely no chance of Van Dijk being signed.

“Will Van Dijk come here? Next month here?” he asked, before laughing. “We are going to Southampton to play against them [in April]. He is not going to come here next month – because it is impossible.

“He is a Southampton player and we don’t want him now. We are going to go to Southampton to play them, that’s for sure.”

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Aside from hinting that he would like to sign Van Dijk at a later date, Guardiola also suggested that he would be all too happy to sign a full-back if a suitable target became available.

Three of City’s four senior full-backs – Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna – are expected to leave when their contracts expire in the summer.

City are thought to be interested in a number of targets, with Tottenham’s Danny Rose at the head of the queue, and while there will be a concerted effort to strengthen that area in the summer, Guardiola could kick things off early if given the opportunity.

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“If you ask me today, no,” he replied when asked about signings other than Van Dijk, “but maybe next week if we decide to change and we realise maybe we need something special maybe in one position, one more player in that position because we don’t have too much, especially in the full backs. But [as for] the other positions, we are quite happy.”