Southampton are reportedly set to resist any offer from Liverpool for Virgil van Dijk, as they prefer to sell to Chelsea if they have to see him depart.
It comes after the Saints lodged an official complaint against Liverpool earlier this summer for their approach for the Dutch international, which undoubtedly would have soured relations between the two clubs as the Merseyside giants publicly apologised.
Having signed several players from Southampton in recent years, it would have been a real setback for Jurgen Klopp to see them potentially ruin their chances of signing a top-class defensive rock which is much-needed at Anfield this coming season, and it looks as though they will miss out to a direct rival to make matters worse.
According to The Sun, while Southampton haven’t yet admitted defeat in trying to keep Van Dijk, they would prefer to deal with Chelsea if they remain keen on the 26-year-old. It’s added that the Blues will make a reported £50m bid for Van Dijk, as the Premier League champions look to swoop in and take full advantage of the problems that have arisen between Liverpool and Southampton.
Meanwhile, Sky Sports presenter Jim White has added fuel to the fire by claiming that Chelsea boss Antonio Conte wants Van Dijk, and added that he’s not the only target this month as Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater is also on his radar.
Signing Antonio Rudiger to bolster the Chelsea backline is seemingly not enough for the Italian tactician, but there is no denying that signing Van Dijk would only further strengthen their chances of silverware this coming season.
As for Drinkwater, the England international would undoubtedly add quality and depth to the squad in midfield, while he will also count as a homegrown player to help Chelsea fill their quotas.
Top source reveals @ChelseaFC boss Antonio Conte wants Virgil van Dijk and is big admirer of Danny Drinkwater.
— Jim White (@JimWhite) August 5, 2017