Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has confirmed he was interested in pursuing a deal for now Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk.
The former Celtic player made the move from Southampton to Anfield last week, in a world record deal for a defender before being the matchwinner in the Merseyside Derby victory over Everton in the FA Cup.
And Conte – who has reportedly been frustrated by his side’s lack of transfer activity since claiming the Premier League title – says making movements in the transfer market is far from easy.
“This is football, this is life,” Conte said of missing out on him. “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 their defensive line – and I think Van Dijk is a top defender. And they spent €85 million for this player.
“The same time, they sold very well – [Philippe] Coutinho – because when you sell a player for this amount of money, and then you have the rest of money to invest, to improve your team. But I think the transfer market is not simple, it’s not simple, especially if there is this amount of money.”