Friday 15 December 2017

Arsenal and Chelsea duke it out for Van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk

Jason Burt

Arsenal have made a move for Virgil van Dijk even though there is an acknowledgement that Chelsea remain favourites to sign the Southampton centre-half.

Liverpool, Everton and Manchester City have also expressed interest in the Dutch defender, who is expected to cost around £50 million when he is sold this summer.

The 25-year-old has not featured for Southampton since damaging a foot in January and there is a growing sense that he has already played his last game for the club.

It is understood that Arsenal are prepared to match any wages offered by rival clubs for the Netherlands international who they considered bidding for when he left Celtic for Southampton for just £13 million in 2015.

Arsenal are also hopeful of signing left-back Sead Kolasinac when he becomes a free agent at Schalke at the end of this season.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Petr Cech said Arsenal had "no other option" but to win their final seven league matches if they were to finish in the top four, starting with tomorrow's home game against Leicester City.

"I think we are going to be under pressure in every game now. We need to keep getting three points to hope we can get the automatic qualification for the Champions League for next season," Cech said.

Once all that is settled the Gunners then have the FA Cup final against Chelsea , Cech's former club, to contend with and he is looking forward to it.

"It is going to be special," Cech said. "Every FA Cup final is special in itself and it's against a team I had a huge success with and spent so many wonderful years. Hopefully I will be the one celebrating." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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