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Liverpool join Chelsea in chase for Southampton defender — report

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Burnley v Southampton - Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk remains sidelined with the malleolar injury he suffered at the start of the year, but his absence from the pitch has not diminished the interest in his services from Premier League’s big boys, including Chelsea.

But Chelsea are not the only club in the fray. According to the London Evening Standard, Liverpool, who have made it a habit of signing Southampton’s players, have entered the race for the 25-year-old as well and are "serious competitors" for his signature. Both clubs are looking to reinforcements in defence and Van Dijk is at or very near the top of the shortlist of potentially available Premier League center backs. It is expected that Southampton will be demanding a fee of around £50 million given their strong position at the negotiation table with Van Dijk currently tied to the club until 2022. Manchester City and Manchester United have also shown interest in Van Dijk's services in the last transfer window.

Chelsea are almost certain to be playing Champions League football next year and will be needing to upgrade and expand the current squad accordingly. In the current market however, and with plenty of competition for any top player’s signature, acquiring said reinforcements will not be easy or straightforward.