Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City given fresh Virgil van Dijk encouragement

Thibaut Courtois

Craig Burley has told ESPN that he expects Liverpool to sign Southampton's Virgil van Dijk - but not until next summer.

But Conte, whose team has won eight of its last 10 Premier League matches, would not say if Chelsea could make a move for Van Dijk.

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino axed Virgil van Dijk on Saturday - then opened the door for the Dutchman to leave next month.

Chelsea were one of the clubs, along with Liverpool and Arsenal, who were interested in signing £70 million-rated Van Dijk during the summer, while Manchester City are known to want central defensive cover in the next transfer window.

City manager Pep Guardiola is also interested in Van Dijk as he wants to strengthen his defence, while Arsenal and Chelsea are also reported to be keeping tabs on the Netherlands global.

Van Dijk, who has made 12 appearances for Southampton this season, was dropped by Pellegrino for Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Chelsea.

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"I can't control the market, I am not the owner", Pellegrino was quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo.

He said: 'As you know very well, I don't like to talk about players of the other team.

"II can have my opinion and this I have give to the technical director, to the chairman, my opinion". Virgil Van Dijk is clearly a hugely talented player who would improve nearly any team on the planet but £70 million is a lot of money for a centre-back.

'He's a really good player.

"We just speak about [January transfer signings] with the club and Txiki because in the central defender position we don't have many players, especially in this situation", said City boss Pep Guardiola. He had a bad injury, but he has recovered very well'.

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