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Chelsea plan £50m Virgil van Dijk swoop after shock loss in opener

Craig Burley examines whether Chelsea or Liverpool need Virgil van Dijk more and why he has not left Southampton yet.

The football world is awash with gossip. Transfer Talk is monitoring the whispers ahead of all the summer moves. Check out the latest deals and potential deals here.

TOP STORY: Blues poised to wrap up Van Dijk move

After being rocked at home by Burnley on the opening Saturday of the Premier League season, Chelsea will spring into rapid action to reinforce their defence, according to the Mirror.

And you might not be entirely surprised to learn that the player likely to be on his way to Stamford...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

2017-18 Premier League season - ESPN FC writer predictions

The FC crew react to Iain Macintosh's full predicted table, from first to 20th, for the 2017-18 Premier League season.

The Premier League is back! Which club do our writers think will win the title in 2017-18? Who will finish in the coveted Champions League spots? Which the three clubs will go down? And who will finish as top scorer and player of the year?

Mark Ogden

Top four: 1. Man City 2. Arsenal 3. Man United 4. Liverpool
Relegated: Huddersfield, Southampton, Brighton
Top scorer: Gabriel Jesus
Player of the Year: Paul Pogba

Iain Macintosh

Top four: 1. Man City 2. Man United 3. Tottenham...



 By Alex Crook

Vulgar Van Dijk saga gives Southampton chance to take a stand

The ESPN FC crew discuss the latest developments in the Virgil van Dijk saga.
The ESPN FC crew discuss the latest developments in the Virgil van Dijk saga.

Allow your mind to fast-forward to New Year's Day, 2018. Southampton are flying high in the Premier League, competing for a Champions League spot and looking down on a jealous Liverpool.

Meanwhile, Virgil van Dijk, their disgraced former captain, is watching on enviously from the stands, his place in the Netherlands team for the upcoming World Cup in Russia under threat having not kicked a ball in anger all season.

This is the dream scenario for the majority of Southampton fans following the latest...

 By Alex Crook

Van Dijk saga turns unsavoury but Saints should be lauded for staying firm

Steve Nicol and the ESPN FC crew discuss the transfer furore surrounding Virgil van Dijk.
Steve Nicol and the ESPN FC crew discuss the transfer furore surrounding Virgil van Dijk.

Virgil van Dijk has helped Southampton's new manager Mauricio Pellegrino score an early PR win with the club's fans.

Now their board have to back the Argentine by delivering on their promise to keep Van Dijk at least until the end of the upcoming season and stand up to player power.

By effectively sending van Dijk into exile, Pellegrino has struck a blow not only for Saints but for every so-called smaller Premier League side who are bullied by their more illustrious rivals and egotistical players.

However...

 By Chris Wright

Southampton reach a new level with Taylor's social media announcement

Southampton announced a new one-year contract for Stuart Taylor in the form of a movie trailer.

This summer has truly been the summer of the quirky, elaborate (some might say overelaborate) transfer unveilings, with clubs desperately trying to one-up their rivals while filling out their squads.

So far we've seen new players introduced with phone WhatsApp chats, staged English lessons, white smoke billowing from a takeaway, and even mini club shop sketches to break news of big arrivals and acquisitions.

However, Southampton may have just topped the lot by going meta with a full-on minimovie...

An...

 By Alex Crook

Five things for Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino to sort out first

Steve Nicol believes Mauricio Pellegrino's open, attack-minded style of football will suit Southampton.

Southampton unveiled Mauricio Pellegrino as their third manager in as many seasons on Friday.

Pellegrino, 45, won the race to replace the sacked Claude Puel ahead of Dutch legend Frank de Boer, as Saints chiefs were impressed with how the Argentine guided little Alaves to the Spanish cup final and see similarities with fellow countryman and their former boss Mauricio Pochettino.

But what five things does Pellegrino need to do to ensure he matches Pochettino's success on the south coast?

1. Persuade...