We’re only a day into the January transfer window and the Express are already claiming that Chelsea are ready to break their transfer record after launching a £60m move for Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk.
— Express Sport (@DExpress_Sport) 1 January 2017
Well, the Express have kicked off what could be a massive transfer window by claiming that Chelsea are willing to strike that £50m move for Fernando Torres from the top of their record list with a £60m swoop for Van Dijk. It’s understood that Antonio Conte has made the in-form Dutchman his top target and that the wheels have been put in motion for a mega-money move – although the details are pretty vague. Indeed, the Express don’t actually go as far as to say a concrete bid has been made, nor do they really specify that it could be done this month.
Well, Chelsea are currently six points clear at the top of the Premier League, have won 13 games on the spin and have the best defensive record in the division with only 13 goals conceded, so there isn’t really a need for major surgery. However, despite all of the above, there are some concerns at the back for Conte, who has little in the way of options beyond his first choice centre-back trio of Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta, and with Branislav Ivanovic and John Terry ageing and Kurt Zouma’s fitness a doubt, he’ll need another player or two before too long.
What is any player worth in the modern market? Van Dijk is a solid centre-back, but he has been exposed on a few occasions in the league this season, so making him a £60m player is a risk. However, Chelsea’s coffers have been boosted by Oscar’s mega money move to Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG, so they have the money, and with the swelling TV revenue and the likely return of the Champions League to west London for 2017/18, cash won’t be in short supply at Stamford Bridge over the coming windows.
As the stats from his performances vs. Inter Milan in the Europa League earlier this season show, Van Dijk is a very good defender, while Squawka rate him as the best in his position in the Premier League this season