Chelsea cleared to seal world record transfer to replace struggling first-team star

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Chelsea and other clubs look to have been given a boost in their transfer pursuit of Virgil van Dijk, with Southampton reportedly prepared to cash in on their star at around £70million.

According to the Daily Mirror, the Saints will accept losing the Dutchman in the middle of the season as long as a world-record transfer fee for a defender is paid.

Van Dijk is also being linked with Liverpool and Manchester City by the Mirror, and it’s clear that on his day he could strengthen any of the sides involved.

Chelsea’s need is strong, however, as they seem likely to lose a centre-back of their own this January in the form of unsettled Brazilian David Luiz.

virgil van dijk
Virgil van Dijk is available for transfer at £70million

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The Daily Express have previously linked Luiz with Manchester United, while Sport suggested he was keen on a potential move to Barcelona.

The 30-year-old was a key part of Chelsea’s title-winning side last season and could be a big loss if he moves, even if he no longer seems entirely trusted by Antonio Conte.

Van Dijk would make a fine replacement, but it remains to be seen if any of the interested clubs will pay Southampton the £70m they want.

The Mirror claim City may only be ready to go as high as £60m for him, while Liverpool previously bid around £65m.

UPDATE: Chelsea have been beaten to the transfer of Van Dijk with the news tonight that Liverpool have finalised a deal, which will now go through in January.

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