Chelsea join Liverpool in the hunt for this 26-year-old defender: Can Conte outsmart Klopp?


As per latest reports, Chelsea have been handed a major boost in the race for Virgil Van Dijk. The want-away Dutchman has been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool throughout the summer and has made his decision to leave public as well.

The former Celtic defender has been training alone ever since new manager Mauricio Pellegrino had asked him to do so in July.

“I would like Southampton to consider the interest in me from top clubs should it still exist,” Van Dijk said.

“I have been left frustrated by the club’s position that I am not for sale and am disappointed that enquiries from multiple top clubs have been consistently rebuffed.
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“I am incredibly ambitious and want to achieve as much as I possibly can to fulfill my potential in what is a very short career as a professional footballer.

“I can confirm that I was asked about my frame of mind and for all of the reasons mentioned above I was open and honest in saying that I did not feel I was in a settled mindset given the circumstances.

“As a proud professional, I am insulted by the suggestion that it was me who refused to train and so feel it is important to point out the true version of events.”

The centre-back said he handed in the request after claiming Southampton were about to fine him two weeks wages.

“I had very much hoped to retain the good relationship I’ve always enjoyed with everyone at the club, especially the fans, but unfortunately in light of everything that’s happened this has now been seriously affected.”

However, If Jurgen Klopp’s recent words are anything to go by, it seems like Liverpool have all but ended the pursuit of the defender.

He said: “We have four ­centre-backs. I don’t think we need more. The German said referring to Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez.

“Just at the moment, I’m fine. The transfer market is open until the 31st of August.

“We cannot force things and we would never get a ­centre-back just because someone is available.

According to certain reports,  if at all Southampton are forced to make a sale of their most coveted asset they would rather sell him to Chelsea than Liverpool after already accusing the Reds of tapping him up.

Van Dijk signed a new six-year contract in May 2016 after joining the Saints for £13m from the Scottish champions. Southampton currently value him upwardly of £50 million.

Conte might be looking to break the bank after Chelsea’s disappointing preseason and Community Shield loss.

The Football Fanbase View:

Having already signed Antonio Rudiger to support David Luiz, Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta and successful returning loanee in Andreas Christensen signing yet another centre-back should not be Chelsea’s priority. Van Dijk is no doubt one of the best in the business but Chelsea have more serious problems to address.