Liverpool’s bid to sign Virgil van Dijk from under the noses of Chelsea is at the heart of Antonio Conte’s discontent, according to the Telegraph.
The newspaper claim that Stamford Bridge manager Conte has been antagonised by what he regards as a lack of transfer activity regarding incoming and outgoing players since the club’s stunning title success.
The Italian capped a memorable debut campaign with the Premier League trophy that prompted reports he would be rewarded with a contract that will make him the best-paid manager in the club’s history.
The Telegraph report that tension has steadily built over the last few weeks and Conte has become “agitated” at Chelsea’s failure to do early summer business.
It is said that the manager left for his holiday thinking a deal to sign Van Dijk from Southampton was “virtually agreed”, only to find that Liverpool had hijacked Chelsea’s bid to secure the 25-year-old.
Liverpool’s pursuit has subsequently publicly unravelled in humiliating fashion for the club but it has not had the result of making it easier for the champions to land a player that Conte regards as a priority.