Conte: Chelsea wanted Van Dijk before Liverpool

Carragher celebrated wildly with Liverpool fans when Virgil van Dijk scored a late winner

Carragher celebrated wildly with Liverpool fans when Virgil van Dijk scored a late winner

A reported £75million deal for the centre-back was confirmed last month and Van Dijk promptly headed the victor in Liverpool's 2-1 FA Cup home victory over rivals Everton on his debut.

The centre-back ended up joining Liverpool in £75m deal at the start of the month.

It was a debut to remember for Liverpool new-boy Virgil van Dijk with the big defender scoring a late victor as the Reds knocked crosstown rivals Everton out of the FA Cup at Anfield on Friday.

Jurgen Klopp's interest in the 26-year-old Dutch worldwide, however, has always been public knowledge as the German unsuccessfully tried to sign the centre-back in the summer transfer window.

Asked if he was disappointed on missing out on the centre-half, Conte said: "This is football".

"This is football. This is life".

"He showed a lot of things we want him to show in the future very often: heading of course, football-wise his first touch was good, good under pressure and then around set-pieces a proper threat. The transfer market is not simple for any club", according to Sky Sports.

In the end, Van Dijk shattered Liverpool's transfer record, and moved himself a step closer to legend status when he scored the late game-winner in the 3rd round FA Cup Merseyside derby.

The Chelsea manager added, "Liverpool bought Van Dijk to reinforce their defensive line, and I think Van Dijk is a top defender".

'But I think the transfer market is not simple, it's not simple, especially if there is this amount of money. He was for sure nervous but you could not see it and that's the most important thing probably, he obviously could stand the pressure.

'But I have great respect for the other teams, from the other managers, because behind every operation there is a programme, is a plan and I have great respect for every manager, ever team'.

Van Dijk was signed from Southampton and his switch to Liverpool was made official on December 27.

"I haven't played a game for the last three weeks; I was very happy that I got the chance and I'm very happy that we went through to the next round".

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