January 9, 2018

Conte Calm After Losing Out On Van Dijk  (Sky Sports)

Virgil van DijkChelsea head coach Antonio Conte remained unfazed and in reflective mood when asked about the club's failed attempts at signing defender Virgil van Dijk.

The 26-year-old's £75m switch from Southampton to Liverpool was agreed on December 27, with the Dutchman finally sealing his switch to Anfield at the start of the January transfer window.

Conte, who insisted his club would attempt to continue strengthening their squad in the current transfer window, admitted Chelsea worked hard to acquire Van Dijk.

Asked if he was disappointed on missing out on the centre-half, Conte said: "This is football. This is life. For sure he was our target but as you know this is football.

"We can have a lot of targets but you must be able to reach those targets. The transfer market is not simple for any club."

The agreed fee for Van Dijk was a world-record sum for a defender, topping Manchester City's deal to sign Kyle Walker in July.

Van Dijk was keen on a move last summer and handed in a transfer request at St Mary's, but Liverpool ended their pursuit when the Saints complained they had made an illegal approach for the centre-back.

On sealing his move on January 1, Van Dijk said: "With the history at the club and everything around it, it is just a perfect, perfect match for me."

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