Reports: Chelsea to offer £50m for Premier League star
Conte wants more quality in their ranks as Chelsea returns to the Champions League
What's the story?
Antonio Conte has decided that it is time to blow the whistle on trials and tryouts and bring Van Dijk to Stamford Bridge to fortify their defense, according to ESPN.
The Blues are preparing a formal offer for the Southampton central defender and the figure they are willing to offer is reportedly in the region of £50m.
In case you didn't know...
Liverpool have been trying to land the Dutch international for some time, and the saga has seen its fair share of twists and turns.
Media outlets were told by Saints' officials that Van Dijk had been training alone before the 26-year-old rubbished those claims himself.
Liverpool is not the only team other than Chelsea who want the services of Van Dijk secured as Manchester City has also asked Southampton to keep them up to speed on any developments on that front.
The heart of the matter
Chelsea had an abysmal start to the new Premier League campaign. Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas got sent off as the Blues were outnumbered by Burnley. Alvaro Morata salvaged an ounce of dignity from the ruins as he scored and assisted, throwing a rope of hope to the Stamford Bridge faithful.
Conte has expressed his discontentment with the transfer activities of the club after failing to sign the players he wants at the club.
Antonio Rudiger's arrival has added depth to the Chelsea defense which looked solid for the greater part of last season.
After having loaned out a host of youngsters, Chelsea has a depleted squad. Conte knows that they cannot be heading into Europe's elite competition, UEFA Champions League with players who got muscle cramps and are short of breath. Virgil Van Dijk is, perhaps, the most complete defender in the Premier League right now.
Rudiger and David Luiz looked out of sync as they kept running into each other's channels on a regular basis. Sam Vokes was left unmarked as he headed in from a set-piece and that is something Conte will surely let the team know that he has no tolerance for.
The presence of the towering Dutchman could very well sort this problem out but it will mean Cahill or Rudiger will need to get used to warming the bench on weekends.
Virgil Van Dijk is a very focused presence in the defensive third. Standing at 193cms, the Dutchman has the ability to dominate aerial duels.
The 26-year-old is also good with the ball at his feet and is good at clearing his lines or finding a teammate to trigger an attack. Van Dijk will undoubtedly be an excellent acquisition for Chelsea if Southampton are willing to sell him.
If the early signs are anything to go by, the Blues will be desperately hoping for more quality to be added to the ranks.