Chelsea are reportedly set to make a £60 million offer for Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk in order to "ease [manager Antonio] Conte's frustrations" following their penalty shootout defeat to Arsenal in the Community Shield on Sunday.
The Mirror's Darren Lewis noted the Blues boss has called on Chelsea's board for more reinforcements in the aftermath of the defeat.
The Blues are said to have turned to "rebel" Van Dijk to appease the Italian. In July, Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino announced the Dutchman had informed the club of his desire to leave this summer, per David Hytner of the Guardian.
Hytner noted at the time that, despite having signed Antonio Rudiger from AS Roma, Chelsea would be "back on alert" following Pellegrino's admission.
Rudiger's capture has strengthened Chelsea's back three, but such is the German's versatility the Blues could sign another centre-back and still have room to accommodate him in the team.
ESPN FC's James Horncastle noted his ability to play on the right:
James Horncastle @JamesHorncastle
Rudiger loves playing in a back 3. Very versatile. Can play in a number of positions, including right [wing]back. Good signing2017-7-9 15:08:20
Aside from forcing winger Pedro to adopt a more defensive role, Chelsea lack alternatives to Victor Moses at wing-back on the right flank. While the Nigeria international did a fine job there last season, it is a position with room to be strengthened, which Rudiger could do if Van Dijk is brought in as well.
Per NBC Sports' Joe Prince-Wright, Conte revealed his desire to bring in more recruits this summer in his Community Shield programme notes:
Joe Prince-Wright @JPW_NBCSports
Interesting on transfers from Antonio Conte's programme notes: "We are looking hard to improve the number, and quality, of players." #CFC2017-8-6 12:32:50
ESPN FC's Liam Twomey believes the Italian's inclusion of youngsters on the bench against Arsenal was a further sign:
Liam Twomey @liam_twomey
Conte reinforcing the message that he needs more signings? Good for Boga, Musonda & Scott nonetheless #cfc https://t.co/6EZxUobxPk2017-8-6 12:07:24
The Blues have also brought in the likes of Alvaro Morata and Tiemoue Bakayoko this summer, and they have a reasonable chance of defending their Premier League title this season, but further quality additions would bolster their hopes.
Van Dijk would be just that.
Former England international Matthew Upson believes the former Celtic man is among the best defenders in the top flight, per BBC 5 live Sport:
BBC 5 live Sport @5liveSport
Just how good is Virgil van Dijk? Matthew Upson thinks he's at least on a par with the #PL's best. https://t.co/TARNtXg2542017-7-28 19:20:07
Van Dijk would make for a superb capture, and while Southampton may prefer to keep him, his public desire to leave could make it slightly easier to facilitate his transfer.