Football

Virgil Van Dijk.

Antonio Conte's perfect reaction to Man City's reported reported interest in signing Van Dijk

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Manchester City appear to be running away with the Premier League and it's not even 2018 yet.

With the busy festive period essentially upon us, City are eleven points clear of Manchester United at the top of the Premier League and have beaten all of the top six.

Still, manager Pep Guardiola has intimated that he will improve his squad in January, that's despite spending around £200 million in the summer to revamp his side.

Reports suggest that Guardiola is thinking about adding a centre-back to his ranks due to the ongoing injury problems that Vincent Kompany is suffering and the absence of John Stones.

With City's resources, they could sign a long-term successor to club captain Kompany rather than a short-term solution, but plenty of Premier League clubs will be hoping that doesn't mean he will move for Southampton star Virgil Van Dijk.

The 26-year-old was hotly pursued by Liverpool and Chelsea last summer, but ultimately, the south coast club's £70 million valuations of the Dutchman put prospective suitors off.

Of course, stumping up that fee wouldn't be a problem for the league leaders.

However, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte hopes that other clubs can beat City to the punch in the race for Van Dijk's signature and his reaction to the reports of their interest was perfect.

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-SOUTHAMPTON

"Every team, every club, must pay great attention," the Chelsea manager insisted. "Because if a club like Manchester City takes all the best players, it will be very difficult for us to fight. Not only in England but in Europe.

"If they can do this, it is right for them to do this. We must pay great respect.

"When you have this opportunity to go in the market to spend a lot of money, I think it is right to do this."

Huddersfield Town v Chelsea - Premier League

Conte continued that he believed City have every right to spend their vast wealth, something that could be considered a message to Roman Abramovich.

"You must obviously be very good to spend your money in this way — sometimes you can spend a lot of money in a bad way. You must be clever to understand the positions, the roles you have to improve. In this case you must be very good.”

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