Chelsea have reportedly made an audacious £60 million bid for Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk.
According to a Daily Express exclusive by Neil Fissler, Chelsea taken a step in the right direction to secure the services of Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk by launching a £60 million bid for the Dutchman.
Blues boss Antonio Conte took charge in the summer, and has made the London outfit look like Premier League champions at the halfway mark of the 2016/17 campaign. The Italian’s failed experiments with a 4-2-3-1 as well as a 4-1-4-1 saw him make the transition to a tried and trusted 3-4-3 system.
A back three of Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill has been resolute and infallible at times, which has seen Chelsea concede the joint-fewest goals (13) in the league this season. However, Cahill turned 31 in December and arguably has the best days of his career behind him. While he has done a fairly decent job at the back for Chelsea, he is prone to committing few errors.
The same can be said about summer signing Luiz who was welcomed with added skepticism, to say the least. The Brazilian has been composed and gritty in defence this season, but if the past is anything to go by, Luiz may struggle to find form in the bigger matches.
Van Dijk may not have too much experience playing at the top level, but he is a promising prospect for the Saints. The Dutchman has been one of Southampton’s best players for the last two seasons, and this season too, his performances have been exemplary.
At 24, van Dijk will have seven to eight years at his flying best and probably more, if he continues to progress the way he has in recent years. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will certainly be backing the transfer with the player serving as a potential long-term addition.
Saints boss Claude Puel has recently stated that the club has no need to sell the defender in January, but an offer of £60 million could prove to be sufficient to change his mind. Also, with the interest of other English clubs such as Manchester United and Liverpool, Puel may decide to cash in on the heavily courted Van Dijk in January.