Chelsea remain hopeful they are going to win the race for Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton.
The Dutch international has told the South Coast club that he wants to leave and pre-season has been far from smooth, as he has been left out of games and training by new coach Mauricio Pellegrino.
Football INDEX Watch – Virgil van Dijk £1.86 – One of the top defenders on the INDEX, if he moves could be a real bargain.
Southampton’s hierarchy are keeping calm over their prized asset, who only signed a new long-term contract last summer, and insist they won’t be forced into selling if they are not happy to.
They publicly made known their unhappiness with Liverpool’s actions over van Dijk, and I believe it will take a lot to convince Southampton to sell to the Merseyside club.
Chelsea and Manchester City are keen on van Dijk, but it is the Premier League champions who have remained very much in contention for his signature.
Chelsea have lost John Terry, allowed Kurt Zouma to leave and although they have brought in Antonio Rudiger – Antonio Conte wants one more, and van Dijk is the man they want.
Liverpool maintain belief they can get van Dijk, but that confidence is not shared elsewhere and I am told there is more chance he stays at St Mary’s than moves to Anfield this summer.
We spoke to BetVictor’s Head of antepost Football Michael Triffitt about the market around van Dijk, which has seen Chelsea’s odds cut.
“There has been a major move for Chelsea to capture Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk,” he told TheGamblingTimes.com.
“The early 10-1 was popular and after been backed at all rates he now trades at 5/4 to make the move to London.
“Liverpool had looked almost certain to attract the Dutchman but have eased to 4/5 from 1/3 after been as short as 1/6 previously.”