Photo by Claudio Villa - Inter/Inter via Getty Images

"Very very close": Chelsea nearly signed Virgil van Dijk reveals Conte

Liverpool have had some world class defenders at the club over the years. At the minute our leading light in the centre of defence is arguably one of our best ever. However, things could have been very different had one man got his wish. According to Antonio Conte, Chelsea nearly signed Virgil van Dijk.

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Liverpool sign Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool’s move for Virgil van Dijk will go down as one of the most important effective in the club’s recent history.

The Dutchman arrived in January 2018 for a fee of £75m.

His impact was immediate, calming a nervy and shaky defence and leading the back line to a Champions League final in Kiev.

It wasn’t until his arrival was complemented by the signing of Alisson Becker that the Reds truly plugged the gaps at the back.

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Since his arrival, Virgil has won the Premier League, Champions League and Club World Cup.

Antonio Conte, Chelsea and Virgil van Dijk

Former Stamford Bridge boss Antonio Conte has claimed that Chelsea nearly signed Virgil van Dijk and Romelu Lukaku.

The Inter Milan boss believes that bringing the pair to the Bridge could’ve saved his job, telling The Telegraph:

“I asked for two players and we were very, very close after we won the league, one player was Romelu Lukaku, the second player was Virgil van Dijk, and these two players were very, very close.

“We were in contact every day and I always said that with these two players we would improve my team by 30 per cent.

“I think maybe we lost the momentum to bring Chelsea at the very top and then to stay for many years.

“It was a pity that it didn’t happen and Romelu is showing with Inter that my idea was right and also Van Dijk has shown with Liverpool that my idea was right for the club.”

What RTK has to say

Chelsea signing Virgil van Dijk would’ve set us on a very different course in history.

There’s no knowing where Liverpool would be right now had they not signed the towering Dutchman.

Would he have been as effective at Chelsea? The carousel of managers and short tempered supporters could’ve had a negative impact on his game.

Whereas being coached by Jürgen Klopp and the rest of the Reds staff may have been critical to him reaching the heights he has.

Either way, we got him. He’s ours. Hands off everybody, forever.

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