Chelsea are planning to table a £50m bid for Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk this week, according to The Mirror.
The Dutch centre-back has been a regular name in the transfer gossip pages this summer.
It was widely reported that he would sign for Liverpool, but the club were forced to issue a public apology to Southampton after being accused of tapping up.
Van Dijk has maintained that he wants to leave, and he handed in a transfer request last week in order to force his way out.
Liverpool remain linked to the 26-year-old, but now Chelsea have stepped in, with The Mirror claiming that the club will offer £50m to the Saints in the coming days.
Southampton have reiterated that Van Dijk is not for sale, but the player’s public criticism of the club and desire to leave, puts them in a difficult position.
They do not need to offload the defender, but having an unhappy player in their ranks could disrupt the season.
As mentioned, Liverpool have been the frontrunners for the majority of the summer, but Chelsea could swoop in due to Southampton’s relationship with the Reds.
The tapping-up issue is straight away going to put the Saints off doing business with Liverpool, regardless of whether Van Dijk would prefer to move to Anfield or not.
In addition to that, the Merseyside outfit have bought a number of Southampton’s key players in the past, including Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne.
If Chelsea are willing to pay the asking price, then they have a big chance of getting the Dutchman.