Southampton are reportedly keen on selling Virgil van Dijk only to Chelsea and will resist any offer from Liverpool

According to a report by The Sun, Southampton prefer selling their in-demand defender Virgil van Dijk only to Premier League champions Chelsea and will snub any offer from Liverpool. The Dutch international’s impressive performances for the Saints have attracted the attention of several clubs this summer.

Liverpool were initially believed to be the front-runners until they made an illegal approach to sign Van Dijk which led to Southampton threatening to report them. The Merseyside club issued an apology but it looks like the Saints are not ready to accept it. What becomes Liverpool’s loss will be a huge boost for Chelsea.

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.

As things stand, it looks like Chelsea have an upper hand. Conte missed out on signing Danilo to Manchester City, which must’ve been a major blow to the Italian boss. Currently, he has very little to choose from excluding his first-choice defenders – Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill.

Southampton's Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk reacts during the EFL (English Football League) Cup semi-final first-leg football match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England on January 11, 2017. / AFP / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Stamford Bridge in the future? (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

If Conte can manage to sign Van Dijk though, he will be happy to have secured the services of one of the strongest defenders to man his back line.

Jurgen Klopp, on the other hand, has been eager to sign Van Dijk as well since the Reds have been struggling to find a dependable partner for Joel Matip, who proved to be 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.

Van Dijk is aerially sound and that could have potentially been an asset for Klopp’s side which has often struggled in set piece situations.

With that being said, Klopp will have to look elsewhere now considering Southampton’s decision to allow the sale only to Chelsea.

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