By 90Min
January 10, 2018

Chelsea are still believed to be in the market for a centre-back after manager Antonio Conte admitted Virgil van Dijk was a target.

The Dutch defender joined Liverpool in a £75m deal from Southampton at the start of the month, amid reported interest from Manchester City and Chelsea.

And Conte has since revealed that they were beaten to Van Dijk's signature because of the extortionate fee that was eventually required.

ADRIAN DENNIS/GettyImages

“This is football,” Conte said - quoted by the Independent. “This is life. For sure he was our target but as you know this is football. We can have a lot of targets but you must be able to reach those targets. The transfer market is not simple for any club.

“Liverpool bought Van Dijk to reinforce his defensive line, and I think Van Dijk is a top defender. And they spent £75million for this player.

“The same time, they sold very well Coutinho because when you sell a player for this amount of money, and then you have the rest of money to invest, to improve your team.

“But I think the transfer market is not simple, it’s not simple, especially if there is this amount of money. It’s not simple, and Arsenal, I don’t know what happen but, I repeat, the best way to look at ourselves, to try to find the best solution for us is don’t look the other.

“But I have great respect for the other teams, from the other managers, because behind every operation there is a programme, is a plan and I have great respect for every manager, ever team.”

Blues defender Andreas Christensen has been tied down to a new four-and-a-half-year contract, although Chelsea are likely to continue their search for another centre-back.

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