Arsenal are set to battle against Chelsea as they look to sign Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk this summer, according to reports in England.

Arsene Wenger is keen to strengthen his defence this summer as the Gunners have switched to a back three in the recent weeks and are keen to add a talented central defender to compliment Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi next season.

The 25-year old Dutch defender is arguably the best central defender this season and is keen to move to a bigger club in the summer as he is ready to test his skills with the very best in the world. This has prompted the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United to have a huge interest in the young defender who has shown his class in Premier League during his stay with Saints.

The Saints are expecting a bid in excess of £50m for the Dutch international as he is in the form of his life this year and has grown tremendously under new manager Claude Puel. Telegraph claim that Chelsea are still leading the race for van Dijk but Arsenal are the latest favourites to sign him as Gunners are ready to meet his release clause and his wage demands.

van Dijk would be more tempted to play under Antonio Conte if he were to leave Southampton in summer as the Blues have excelled tremendously in their 3-4-3 formation which has proved pivotal for Chelsea’s success since October last year as they are on course for Premier League title.

However, Arsenal will need to qualify for Champions League next season which can help them get big signings in summer. Failing to do so, could see them miss their potential targets as there is a huge race between top English sides to poach the biggest talents in the planet that are available in the market.

Both Arsenal and Chelsea will now face off against each other in FA Cup final after their solid performances in semifinals against Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur in the weekend.

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