While recent reports have claimed that Chelsea submitted, or are ready to submit — or whatever the preferred standard terminology may be that still provides plenty of room for plausible deniability when the rumor turns out to be nonsense — a massive £50m bid for Virgil van Dijk, follow-up reports are positioning Chelsea less an active participant and more like the friendly fall-back option once all others have been exhausted.
As Simon Johnson of the Evening Standard reports, Chelsea are basically there to pick up the pieces once the fallout settles between Van Dijk, Southampton, and Liverpool. As it stands, Van Dijk doesn’t want to play for Southampton, but Southampton don’t want to sell to Liverpool. And that situation doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon, despite recent reports of So’ton wanting to kiss and make up.
“We continue in the same way. The situation is the boy is aside of the team because he doesn’t want to play for us.”
“I would like to persuade him that he’s important for us and the club will not sell him.”
-Mauricio Pellegrino; source: Telegraph
So Chelsea have drawn a smiley face on our £50m check and have gone to hang out by the bar and throw out the vibe.