Chelsea are closing in on the £60m signing of Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, according to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio.
The Dutchman was thought to be on his way to Liverpool a few weeks ago, but the Merseyside outfit were forced to withdraw their interest.
The Reds released a statement on their official website apologising to Southampton after being accused of tapping up the centre-back.
Now, Di Marzio has claimed on his official website that Chelsea have stepped in, and Van Dijk is manager Antonio Conte’s first choice.
It is believed that the Blues will part with a huge £60m to sign the defender, who missed a large chunk of last season with an ankle injury.
Spending a significant amount of money on Van Dijk suggests that he will go straight into Conte’s lineup next season.
If this materialises, then one of Chelsea’s current defenders will miss out, which seems harsh considering how well they performed in their title-winning campaign.
Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta formed a solid back three, but they did not end the season with the best defence record.
They were pipped to it by Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, both of whom kept 17 clean sheets compared to Chelsea’s 16.
Conte’s men also conceded seven more goals than Spurs, who had 26 shipped past them throughout the Premier League season.
Both Luiz and Azpilicueta have the ability to push forward from the back, while Cahill is more of a traditional centre-back and could be in danger of losing his place to Van Dijk.