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Pep Guardiola to miss out to Chelsea in £50m pursuit of top PL defensive ace

Chelsea reportedly believe that they have beaten Manchester City in the race to sign Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk in a deal worth £50m this summer.

The Dutchman has been an integral part of Southampton’s success since joining the club from Celtic, but he’s been a man in demand due to those impressive performance.

Injury has ruled him out for the rest of this season, but that hasn’t stopped speculation over his future with The Mirror claiming that Chelsea will see off competition from City, Everton and Liverpool to land the 25-year-old.

He won’t come cheap though as the report claims that the Dutch international will cost £50m, but with Chelsea in need of defensive reinforcements, it seems like a very sensible move from Conte to bring in a player who has great quality and can match that with Premier League experience.

Antonio Conte has had great success with his three-man defensive system, but having seen Branislav Ivanovic leave in January and with John Terry expected to move on this summer, he needs to add quality and depth in that department especially with a return to the Champions League now likely.

In turn, Van Dijk fills that role and will push the likes of David Luiz and Gary Cahill for a place in the starting line-up, but in contrast, it will be a major disappointment for Pep Guardiola to miss out on him as City are in need of signing defensive reinforcements too.

That is arguably their biggest weakness currently, especially with Vincent Kompany continuing to struggle with injuries and being unable to take his place next to John Stones on a regular basis.

While Guardiola will now have to switch his focus elsewhere it seems, Van Dijk will be another solid addition to the Chelsea squad if the move happens, albeit at a hefty £50m, which will undoubtedly effect how much Conte has to spend elsewhere on his squad.

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