Conte admits Liverpool beat Chelsea to Van Dijk signing

Antonio Conte admits Chelsea wanted now-Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk

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.

Jurgen Klopp made it very clear that it was Virgil van Dijk or bust in the summer transfer window as he searched for a top quality centre-back.

It was a debut to remember for Liverpool new-boy Virgil van Dijk with the big defender scoring a late victor as the Reds knocked crosstown rivals Everton out of the FA Cup at Anfield on Friday. However, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is unfazed by the fact that the club failed to secure th e Dutch international's signature.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Coutinho said: "They are in a healthy position, with very, very good footballers".

"For sure he was our target but as you know this is football".

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'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", according to Sky Sports.

Virgil van Dijk made 146 interceptions for Southampton in the Premier League last season.

Conte's disappointment at missing out on the Dutchman will be tempered by the breakthrough form of Andreas Christensen, who has displaced David Luiz in the centre of the Chelsea defence since November and signed a new long-term contract on Tuesday that will keep him at Stamford Bridge until June 2022. It is the second of three such meetings between the two teams in the space of a month, but Conte does not believe that this complicates his preparation.

Conte revealed that he was interested in the player but like is common in football and in life, you do not succeed in landing all your top targets.

Liverpool are also understood to be keen, despite their capture of Van Dijk, and a host of other clubs from across Europe have been linked with the defender.

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