The arrival of van Dijk and the loss of Coutinho represents one step forward and one step back.
Conte grew increasingly frustrated last summer with Chelsea's failure to secure several of his priority targets, with Manchester United hijacking the Blues' proposed move for Romelu Lukaku and Juventus refusing to lower their asking price for Alex Sandro.
Also deducted from the VVD fee are payments to agents.
Another chunk of the Van Dijk transfer fee - around £6 million - is also due to Celtic regarding their sell-on clause in Van Dijk's Saints transfer contract.
Instead, the Liverpool manager gambled that his first-choice target would become available again and that he would be worth the wait. Clubs can do whatever they can afford to do, and the rich are getting richer.
Q: Acting upon his agent's recommendation, how much did you scout the Willem II youngster? I took that seriously, of course.
"If he stays 100 percent focused and quietly responds to his on field challenges, then I think he's a top defender".
"The cup was important, we put out a very strong team".
"I only wanted him to show that".
"It was a nice fairytale, eh?"
This could turn out to be Klopp's third gamble in quick succession when it comes to key transfer targets, the third time he has waited patiently to sign the right player rather than just any player.
Holgate's head was scrambled and five minutes later, after losing possession, he shoved Firmino into the front row of the Main Stand.
And so, miserable as this entire process has been, as terrible as it has made everyone look, good for Coutinho. That's something in his system. He knows himself that sometimes he's the guy that can take things easy. That's what he has.
Gylfi Sigurdsson's 67th-minute goal had earlier cancelled out James Milner's first-half penalty in a blood-and-thunder contest which threatened to be tainted by a first-half flare-up between Mason Holgate, who conceded the spot-kick, and Roberto Firmino. Maybe they do neither and instead strengthen other areas of the team, or perhaps they end up doing nothing until the summer. It is, in a word, sad.
"It was not the best piece of football for 95 minutes, but a proper fight". "Now we are playing against a big team to reach a final in a good competition".
And all of it is made sadder because it only serves to obscure the fact Philippe Coutinho is such a fabulous, joyful player.
Q: You obviously work at Ajax now. You would love to see that but Everton defended well.
However, the 25-year-old is confident that Van Dijk will be a great signing for the Reds and says that the Merseyside outfit have a bright future under Jurgen Klopp. You cannot pronounce anything about this.