We trawl through our archives to find what the papers were saying on this day in 2017 – and Virgil van Dijk was in the news.
In a new feature TEAMtalk takes a look at some historically transfer talk from the papers and focus on April Fool’s Day 2017 when Chelsea were confident of landing Virgil van Dijk.
Saturday’s papers, April 1, 2017.
Virgil van Dijk has chosen the club he wants to leave Southampton for, while Chelsea are in the market to sign a £30m-rated former player, according to Saturday’s papers.
VAN DIJK TO SNUB LIVERPOOL AND MAN CITY
Chelsea are confident of landing a deal for Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The Dutch defender is expected to cost as much as £50million if he leaves St Mary’s this summer and has been linked with moves to Manchester City and Liverpool, as well as Chelsea.
But the defender has reportedly told friends and colleagues that a move to Antonio Conte’s Chelsea would be his preference, where he feels his style would be best suited and given their guarantee of Champions League football.
Saints paid a bargain £13million to Celtic to sign Van Dijk in the summer of 2015.
CHELSEA LOOK TO BRING RYAN BERTRAND BACK FROM SOUTHAMPTON
Chelsea are keen to re-sign left-back Ryan Bertrand from Southampton, according to reports on Saturday.
The England full-back left Stamford Bridge in 2015 in a £10million deal for Saints, and while the fee seemed high at the time, the player has since gone on to prove himself one of the best left-backs in the Premier League.
Bertrand left Chelsea after just 27 League starts in nine years at Stamford Bridge, having joined the academy from Gillingham.
Bertrand’s attacking style is seen as perfect for Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 formation and it’s thought it would take as much as £30million to lure him back to the Bridge.
The London Evening Standard claims Conte has already made steps to bring the player back in.
Bertrand became the first player in Champions League history to make his debut in the final when Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in 2012.
AND THE REST
Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal could be on his way to Athletic Bilbao this summer (Daily Express)
Chelsea have cooled their interest in Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata as they prepare to concentrate their efforts on Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku this summer (Daily Telegraph)
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has told Eden Hazard to forget about joining Real Madrid (Daily Mirror)
West Ham are eyeing a summer move for out-of-favour Arsenal striker Lucas Perez (Daily Mirror)
Aston Villa are set for talks with Manchester United to extend Sam Johnstone’s stay in the Midlands (Daily Mirror)
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe admits he would like to bring Jermain Defoe back to the south coast (Daily Mirror)
Chelsea could make a move for young Italian goalkeeper Alex Meret after Antonio Conte watched him in action, the manager’s agent has revealed (Daily Express)
Cesar Azpilicueta admits he is “flattered” by interest from Barcelona but wants to stay at Chelsea (Daily Express)
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers says he believes Moussa Dembele is likely to leave in 2018 (Daily Express)
Newcastle face a real fight to hold onto their academy ace Lewis Gibson as a host of big clubs plot a move for the teen star (The Sun)
West Ham co-chairman Karren Brady insists they are not looking to sack boss Slaven Bilic (The Sun)
West Brom are planning to offer Darren Fletcher a new two-year deal (The Sun)
Leyton Orient’s unpaid players are set to go on strike (The Sun)
Paris Saint-Germain have offered Arsene Wenger an immediate return to the dugout if he opts to quit Arsenal (Daily Star)
Manchester United have agreed to sign 15-year-old ace Will Vint (Daily Star)
Manchester United have shown an interest in re-signing Michael Keane two years after selling the central defender to Burnley for £2.5m but Everton, Liverpool and Chelsea are also interested (Daily Mail)
Newcastle are plotting a summer move for Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield (Daily Mail)
Chelsea have held renewed talks over a groundshare with West Ham (The Times)
Tom Davies is close to agreeing a new contract with Everton (The Times)
Everton contract rebel Romelu Lukaku has refused to sign a new boot deal with Nike (The Times)