Southampton’s star defender Virgil van Dijk has reportedly made it clear that he wants to join only Liverpool this transfer season
According to a report by The Mirror, Virgil van Dijk has dealt a major blow to Chelsea by expressing a desire to join Liverpool even as Southampton are reluctant to let him leave.
Van Dijk has been the strongest part of Southampton’s defence ever since he made his way into the club from Celtic back in the summer of 2015. His performances have widely established him as one of the best defenders in the English top flight, so it comes as no surprise that big clubs are fighting it out for his signature.
Liverpool and Chelsea are believed to be the frontrunners in the race to sign him, but now it looks like Liverpool have an upper hand. Although the Merseyside club were forced to back off following a warning from the Premier League for the manner in which they targeted Van Dijk, it will come as good news to them that he is keen on a deal.
Jurgen Klopp has been keen to secure his services for a while now since the Reds boss has been struggling to find a dependable partner for Joel Matip since he was a value addition to the side. Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan have failed to put up consistent performances which makes it clear that Liverpool need a quality central defender pronto.
Van Dijk is aerially sound and that can potentially be an asset for Klopp’s side which has often struggled in set piece situations.
Meanwhile, this will come as bad news to Chelsea boss Antoine Conte especially after losing out on Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United. Conte was also eager to bolster his central defensive options since he currently has very little to choose from excluding his first-choice defenders – Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill.
As things stand, it looks like Conte will have to shift his focus elsewhere since this seems to be working in Klopp’s favour. The Premier League champions could try their hand at the mammoth task of trying to change Van Dijk’s mind but there seems to be little Chelsea can do now.