Report: Chelsea lead $65 million chase for Virgil van Dijk

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The summer long saga surrounding Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk has begun.

In truth, it did some time ago.

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Van Dijk, 25, is said to be interesting Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea and a report in The Sun states the latter has jumped to the front of the queue ahead of Arsenal.

Per the report from Neil Ashton, Chelsea is said to be offering $65 million for the elegant central defender and also a loan deal for Danish defender Andreas Christensen.

Christensen has spent the past two seasons on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach and the 21-year-old is highly-regarded at Stamford Bridge but his path to the first team has been blocked by Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Kurt Zouma and John Terry.

With Terry leaving Chelsea at the end of this season Antonio Conte needs to reinforce his backline and although the trio of Cesar Azpilicueta, Luiz and Cahill have impressed, Chelsea keeping just one clean sheet in their last 12 Premier League games hasn’t.

As for Van Dijk, he’s been missing since late January after suffering a serious foot injury and is unlikely to play again this season.

The Dutch international has become Southampton’s captain in just his second season at the club and he only signed a new six-year deal last summer after being named their Player of the Season.

Van Dijk’s supreme ability on the ball has always been his major strength and the former Celtic star has also added extra defensive solidity to his play over the past two seasons. He seems like the perfect fit for the champions elect and the temptation of UEFA Champions League action is sure to interest VVD.

Can Southampton really stand in his way if Chelsea offer $65 million for the player they bought for $16.7 million two summers ago?

They can’t.