Premier League champions Chelsea may soon find themselves to be the second club to be accused of ‘tapping-up’ Southampton defender Virgil vam Dijk.
A report in the Irish Independent claims that the Saints are investigating potential discussions that took place between the Blues and their own defender, as they consider the possibility of also accusing the Londoners of illegal negotiations.
The news comes just days after Liverpool were forced to apologise and drop their interest in Van Dijk, after they were reported to the FA by Southampton.
The south coast club accused the Reds of tapping up their player without any consent from his employers. Details have since emerged of the extent of Liverpool’s activities, with Yahoo Sport claiming that manager Jurgen Klopp held regular secret conversations with Van Dijk, as well as providing him with video footage to demonstrate how he would fit into the side.
Understand Southampton have accepted Liverpool’s apology over their attempt to sign Virgil van Dijk. Now unlikely PL will take any action
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) June 8, 2017
Though the Reds released a statement apologising for their conduct and insisting that they would drop their interest in the Dutchman, Southampton remain adamant that they will not sell the centre-back this summer and will now investigate Chelsea’s own bid to sign him.
The Blues are alleged to have held detailed discussions with Van Dijk, although there is as yet no clear suggestion that they are also guilty of ‘tapping-up’ the player.
A source close to the Saints reaffirmed the club’s tough stance on Van Dijk, who himself is keen to force a move away, by stating that they will not accept interference from other clubs.
They said: “The club had to take a stand this week as we have been aware of what has been going on for months and it has gone too far.
“Of course, every player has a price and if £100m or something close to that is put on the table, then it will be considered, but Southampton don’t need to sell Van Dijk this summer.”