Chelsea legend John Terry believes Virgil van Dijk would make the starting XI for most teams in the top four, but not the Blues, where he will only "make the squad better".

The Dutchman had been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool in the summer but a move fell through as Southampton put their foot down. Now, apart from the Anfield club, the defender is also on Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea's radars.

Van Dijk made no secret of his desire to swap Hampshire for Merseyside last summer and submitted a transfer request as he attempted to push through a deal. However, his request was instantly rejected by the Saints, who forced Van Dijk to train away from Mauricio Pellegrino's first team for the remainder of the transfer window.

Jurgen Klopp's side were ready to pay a club-record fee for the defender, but Southampton were left fuming by Liverpool's perceived tapping-up of their captain and issued a complaint to the Premier League over the Merseysiders' approach.

Wary of severe punishment, Liverpool apologised both publicly and privately to the Saints and made it clear that they would not make a move for the 26-year-old unless Pellegrino's side decided to sell. The Dutchman stayed on into the season but has not been able to replicate his form from the previous campaign.

The Reds are likely to move back in for the defender in January but will face competition from City, United and Arsenal, who have all been struck by injury problems at the back. However, the Merseyside club have baulked at Southampton's £70m ($93m) asking price and are looking at other possible options.

The former Blues skipper believes that Van Dijk would prove to be an astute buy for the big clubs after the unsettled Netherlands international was yet again left on the bench for the Chelsea defeat.

"If you look at Liverpool, he certainly goes into the starting line-up," Terry told Sky Sports' Monday Night Football, as quoted by the Mirror. "Arsenal the same. Chelsea, he makes their squad better. Man City he goes into that starting XI. Same at Manchester United. I think he goes into all them squads and makes them better."

Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk was keen on completing a move from Southampton to Liverpool in the summer Getty Images