Chelsea have reportedly added on-loan defender Andreas Christensen to their offer to Southampton for Virgil van Dijk.
According to a report in The Sun, the Blues have offered Danish International center-back Andreas Christensen to Claude Puel’s side as a part of a player+cash offer, as they look to prise Van Dijk away from St. Mary’s in the upcoming summer transfer window.
The report goes on to state that the Blues are now ‘confident’ that they will land their target in the summer after Southampton have been tempted to accept the offer. The Dutchman is also said to be interested in moving to Stamford Bridge ahead of the likes of Arsenal.
This comes despite the Gunners offering to make him one of their highest paid players with a reported £150,000 a week in wages. Liverpool and Manchester City are also rumoured to be interested, but Antonio Conte’s side are currently leading the race for the Dutchman.
The Gunners are in very real danger of missing out on Champions League spots with the Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and even Everton all battling for a place in the top four and this uncertainty doesn’t help the Gunners in their pursuit of the player.
Van Dijk has slowly grown to become one of the best center-backs in the English top flight since making his move from Celtic in the summer of 2015. He signed a new and improved 6-year-contract with the club in May last year to ward off any interest from potential suitors.
The Saints did eventually manage to hold on to him for another season and through the January transfer window as well, but it now seems unlikely that the Dutch International will stay past the end of the summer transfer window.
Should Southampton accept Chelsea’s offer however, they will receive one of Europe’s best young center-backs in return. Christensen is currently seeing out his second year out on loan at Borussia Park and it would suffice to say that it has been an extremely productive 2 years for the Dane.
In the space of nearly 2 seasons, Christensen had made 79 appearances for Borussia Monchengladbach in all and has established himself as a regular in the first team. At only 21, he will also come with invaluable European experience, having played in the Champions and Europa League.
At the end of his first season with the club on loan, Christensen was voted as Monchengladbach’s player of the year and there were attempts from Die Borrusen to make his stay a permanent one. His impressive performances have also seen him get linked to Barcelona and Juventus.
It remains to be seen if Chelsea have actually offered Christensen to the Saints. Until recently, the young Dane seemed destined for a place in Antonio Conte’s back three upon his return from loan, with many viewing him as the perfect long term replacement to the departing John Terry.
It was made clear by Christensen’s father earlier in the season that his son would return to Chelsea post the end of the season, but only if he gets to play. “As it is right now, he’ll be back at Chelsea again this summer. It is important to Andreas that he plays. He will not return just to sit on the bench.”
With Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma all vying for starting spots, Christensen will certainly have his fair share of competition for place, but with Champions League qualification imminent, there will be more games available for everyone.
Letting Christensen go would not be a wise choice on Chelsea’s part and it is almost sure to be one of those decisions that will come and haunt them in the near future. The Blues have have had to watch the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Ryan Bertrand blossom into fantastic players after letting them go in recent years and they must at all costs, avoid letting Christensen leave without giving him a proper opportunity under Antonio Conte.