Virgil Van Dijk options remain

Chelsea and Manchester City remain keen on Southampton ace Virgil Van Dijk, despite fresh claims Liverpool were closing on a deal. has always maintained Chelsea’s interest in the Dutch international, and that remains now.

Sources have confirmed to us that Chelsea have been patient in their chase for van Dijk and have not wanted to pursue him aggressively, which they hope will be appreciated at the Southampton end.

It is also believed that Manchester City – who showed an interest earlier this summer – could also still make a move for the 26-year-old.

Van Dijk has been left out of the Saints’ squad for their pre-season training camp in France, due to his insistence that he wants to leave.

Liverpool – who Southampton threatened to report to the Football Association over their pursuit of the player – still believe they are favourites, but Chelsea have never backed away.

Chelsea are in need of another central defender with John Terry, Kurt Zouma and Nathan Ake all departing this summer, with only Anthony Rudiger and returning loanee Andreas Christensen coming in, and I understand Conte wants more options.

Liverpool are desperate to land both van Dijk and RB Leipzig’s Naby Keita – their top two summer targets.

We spoke to BetVictor’s Charlie McCann about the van Dijk market which still has Liverpool as firm favourites.

“Van Dijk remains 1/4 to sign for Liverpool at BetVictor before the end of the transfer window- the Dutch International is training on his own at Southampton but the Reds will have to be patient in their pursuit of their number one defensive target this summer,” he said.

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