Chelsea plot £60m bid for Premier League ace in bid to outgun title rivals

Chelsea are reportedly set to launch a £60m bid for Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk in the January transfer window in order to bolster their backline.

Antonio Conte’s side are currently on a 13-game winning streak which has catapulted them clear at the top of the Premier League table with a six-point gap to their nearest rivals.

However, they will be keen to build on their strong start and sustain their run with new additions in January, and according to The Express, Van Dijk has emerged as a big part of that plan.

The Dutchman has impressed for the Saints again this season, establishing himself as a key figure in Claude Puel’s side, and in turn it’s no surprise that he’s attracted interest from elsewhere.

While the report adds that Manchester City are also keen to sign him, Conte wants to outdo them and beat them to the punch with a big-money offer of £60m.

It looks as though the 25-year-old will now be Chelsea’s top defensive transfer target as the Blues have continuously been linked with defenders since last summer.

Although the back-three combination of Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill has been a major part of their success in recent weeks, it will require fresh faces sooner rather than later, and Conte needs quality depth moving forward with a return to the Champions League looking likely next season.

Van Dijk is seemingly the man to solve that issue, but he’ll have a tough decision on his hands this month as to whether firstly he wishes to leave Southampton.

If the answer to that question is yes, then he will have to choose between Chelsea and City, and with a chance to work under Conte or Pep Guardiola, it will be a major decision for his future and he’ll have to choose what he considers the better fit.

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