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Southampton star Virgil van Dijk set to join Chelsea with Nathan Ake going other way

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Chelsea are willing to let Nathan Ake join Southampton this summer if Virgil van Dijk goes to Stamford Bridge.

The 22-year-old was recalled from his loan at Bournemouth in January following stellar displays in the first-half of the season, but has not played a minute of Premier League football for Chelsea.

Bournemouth are keen to bring Ake back to Dean Court, but the Blues have offered the utility-defender to the Saints as they prepare a £50million bid for Van Dijk.

Chelsea value the Netherlands Under-21 international at £15m, with Chelsea also wanting highly rated Napoli centre-half Kalidou Koulibaly to bolster their defensive options.

The Serie A outfit have put a £50m price-tag on Koulibaly though, a sum Chelsea decided against paying in the last summer transfer window, according to The Telegraph.

With Ake poised to leave Stamford Bridge, Chelsea are willing to spend big on two world class defenders at the end of the term.

Blues boss Antonio Conte is expected to continue with his three at the back formation next season and it is understood that he wants to add ball-playing central defenders to his squad.

Van Dijk and Koulibaly are good on the ball, but both deals together would cost at least £50m.

Ake is regarded as one of the biggest prospects in the Premier league, but the Dutchman may feel his future is elsewhere after finding chances hard to come by at the Blues.

Southampton will need to replace 25-year-old Van Dijk and are keen on bringing Ake into their system with Mamadou Sakho being another option for manager Claude Puel.

France international Sakho is currently on loan at Crystal Palace from Liverpool, but is expected to leave Anfield in the summer transfer window.

By Drew Darbyshire (@DarbySports)

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