Chelsea are reportedly pushing to jump ahead of Liverpool in the race to sign Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk by making a £50m bid for the wantaway ace.
The Dutch international has been heavily linked with an exit from the Saints all summer, with The Times noting that he has requested to leave and Liverpool is reportedly his preferred destination.
However, after being forced to publicly apologise in June after Southampton lodged a complaint against them with the Premier League for their approach for their defender, it seemed as though the possible move to Merseyside was dead.
It’s suggested that Liverpool still plan on launching a big-money bid before the end of the transfer window, but that could come too late as Chelsea have now stepped in and are looking to beat their Premier League rivals to the punch.
Antonio Conte will reportedly sign off on a £50m bid for the commanding defensive ace, despite the fact that the Premier League champions have already signed Antonio Rudiger this summer to bolster their backline.
Whether or not that’s enough to prise Van Dijk away remains to be seen, but given the 26-year-old’s desire to leave coupled with the now rocky relationship with Liverpool, it could make sense for all parties to push the move through.
Southampton have lost countless top players to Liverpool in recent years, with Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne and Sadio Mane just a few of the high-profile additions at Anfield.
It appeared as though Van Dijk would be the latest in that long list, but Chelsea have different plans and could now snap up the defensive rock.