Date published: Friday 4th August 2017 9:29

Liverpool are to face strong competition for the signing of Virgil van Dijk, according to reports.

Liverpool have been in pole position to sign Van Dijk all summer, with the player reportedly keen on the move.

For their part, Southampton have insisted that Van Dijk is not for sale, while Liverpool have stayed in the shadows after being accused of an illegal approach.

According to Matt Hughes in the Times, Chelsea are preparing a £50m bid for Van Dijk. That would almost certainly be rejected immediately, but it would put pressure on Liverpool to land their man.

That said, it could also give Liverpool the green light they need to push forward with an official bid of their own. Southampton would get the bidding war they will need in order to persuade them to sell.

Chelsea have already gazumped Liverpool in the past when signing Mohamed Salah for £12m. Salah is now a Liverpool player.