CHELSEA manager Antonio Conte has revealed that his side tried to sign Liverpool new boy Virgil van Dijk.
Dutch international centre-back was hot property in the summer and was expected to leave. However, the Saints have kept him at the club until the January.
The Dutchman got his move earlier last weeks after completing a £75m transfer to Merseyside Reds, making him the most expensive defender in the world.
However, in doing so, Dutchman has rejected a move to defending Premier League champions Chelsea.
Conte has made no secret of his desire to sign new players in January to strengthen his squad and tried to bring Van Dijk to Stamford bridge.
But the 26-year-old opted to make switch to Liverpool for £75m fee funded by the Philippe Coutinho sale to Barcelona.
Asked if he was disappointed not to recruit Van Dijk, Conte said: “This is football. This is life.
“For sure he was our target but as you know this is football.
“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.”
“Liverpool bought Van Dijk to reinforce the defensive line, and I think Van Dijk is a top defender. And they spent [£75m] for this player.”