Chelsea are reportedly readying a £50 million bid in order to beat Liverpool in the pursuit of Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk

According to an exclusive from The Times, Liverpool could be subject to a hijack from a league rival in the pursuit of Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk. The Dutch international has been closing in on an exit from St. Mary’s. But, his potential destination could very well be about to change from Anfield to Stamford Bridge.

Virgil Van Dijk has become an established name in the Premier League world. Despite being injured for almost the entirety of the second half of the 2016-17 campaign, the player is widely recognised as one of the most commanding centre-backs in the game and the injury has not caused any dip in the interest in his services.

The Dutch international has been linked with Liverpool for a long time. In fact, the Reds were reported to have agreed personal terms and the club were looking to negotiate a fee with Southampton when the Saints threatened to file a case of poaching against Liverpool, which saw the Reds back out of the race and issue an apology.

However, as per recent reports, Virgil Van Dijk has made his wish to join Liverpool known to Southampton and has held showdown talks with his club to eke out a move to Anfield. But, there is a fresh twist in the saga as Chelsea have come marching in, with Conte looking to beat Klopp to the Dutch international.

Chelsea’s immediate need for a central defender has been doused by the arrival of Antonio Rudiger. However, Conte still feels the position is understaffed, with only4 options – Antonio Rudiger, David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Andreas Christensen – that the Italian sees as a more regular part of his first-team setup.

Van Dijk’s commanding presence could add much steel at the back for the Blues, who are now ready to table a £50 million bid for the 26-year-old. This could threaten Liverpool’s plan to land the player; but only if the player does change his stance of being interested in a switch to Liverpool.

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