Antonio Conte: 'Virgil van Dijk is a really good player'

Virgil Van Dijk Inigo Martinez Split

Liverpool FC were thought to be leading the race to sign Van Dijk in the summer but a move ended up failing to materialise after they were accused of an alleged illegal approach by Southampton.

Van Dijk had started 11 successive games before the trip to Stamford Bridge and the timing of his omission will only increase talk of a potential January move away from Southampton.

Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino has conceded that he "can't control" the future of defender Virgil van Dijk ahead of the January transfer window.

Independent.ie understands that Liverpool are considering other defensive targets in the January transfer window, with Southampton in no rush to sell Van Dijk unless a club gets close to their lavish £70m valuation of their star centre-back.

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 worldwide.

"I've never known a guy so tall, so strong and technically good in all my life".

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

"It's not good. It's a lack of respect for my players, especially, and then for the other team, in this case for Van Dijk". 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.

"I will recommend to try to keep our best player here in the club".

'He's a really good player.

"I think this will happen but I think it's probably going to happen in the summer", the Scot said. The club was clear about it in the beginning and I have the same opinion'.

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