In yet another twist in the Virgil van Dijk transfer saga, Southampton are now believed to be willing to let their Dutch centre-back leave the club after Chelsea re-entered the race for his signature - ahead of rivals Liverpool.
Despite Mauricio Pellegrino's claim that the club will not sell the Dutchman, Chelsea's re-emergence in the hunt for the Dutch international could persuade them to part ways with the unsettled centre half.
And due to the way Liverpool conducted themselves earlier in the transfer window, the Saints hierarchy has been against allowing the defender to move to Anfield.
Simply can not see Southampton selling Van Dijk to Liverpool. No surprise the Chelsea link is back though, they have been keen all along— Dean Jones (@DeanJonesBR) August 4, 2017
Having already completed the signing of AS Roma defender Antonio Rüdiger, it was understood that Chelsea had taken a backseat in the race for Van Dijk. Liverpool were strong favourites to sign the defender, with many still believing he will be a Reds player this summer, although issues surrounding the clubs approach of Van Dijk landed them in hot water.
A £50m bid believed to be enough to convince Southampton to sell and if Chelsea are serious about signing Van Dijk, they will likely make a concrete offer over the next week.
The Blues hunt for further defensive reinforcements does cast doubt over César Azpilicueta's future in the middle of Chelsea's defence, possibly seen as a long-term alternative to Victor Moses at right wing-back by Antonio Conte.
Van Dijk, along with RB Leipzig star Naby Keïta, has been a key target for Liverpool this summer. Even after the club was forced to apologise for their approach to sign Van Dijk earlier this summer, Liverpool remain confident they can bring the 26-year-old to Merseyside during this transfer window.