Chelsea defeats Liverpool in the race of £50million defender – Reports

Chelsea's Italian head coach Antonio Conte applauds the fans following the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Cheslsea at The London Stadium in east London on March 6, 2017. Chelsea won the match 2-1. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte believes the club are closing in on a deal of Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk, according to reports.

The Dutchman is expected to leave the Saints this summer and Claude Puel’s side are demanding around £50million for his signature.

Conte is a huge fan of the former Celtic defender and believes he’s a perfect fit in Chelsea’s 3-4-3 formation.

Liverpool are willing to break the bank to sign Van Dijk but, according to the Independent, Chelsea are increasingly confident that they’ve won the race for the defender’s signature.

Roman Abramovich is willing to hand Conte around £150m to spend this summer and the Italian will be given further cash from any player sales.

Diego Costa could leave the club with lucrative offers on the table from China and if he does then Conte will likely need to buy two strikers.

Romelu Lukaku remains the club’s number one target, while Alvaro Morata is another option.

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