Five Premier League destinations for Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk
Celtic have dominated domestically yet again this season, clinching the Scottish Premiership title and League Cup crown, with the Bhoys having been helped hugely by dominant Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk.
The 23-year-old Hoops centre back has been in sublime form this term and recently alerted a host of Premier League clubs, having declaring his desire to depart Glasgow for his own personnel development.
“Celtic are a great club with a fantastic stadium and the fans are great. But the competition is not too good. I want to develop. If the opportunity is there, I would definitely consider a transfer,” stated Van Dijk.
Ronny Deila’s key defensive giant has been determined to clinch as much silverware success as possible with Celtic, but is expected to be the subject of bids from England’s top-flight clubs.
“We were in all competitions after the winter break and that’s something Celtic always strive for.”
“Unfortunately, we did not win all the cups and we were eliminated by Inter Milan in the Europa League. That’s a shame but apart from that it was a successful season.”
Following the Dutchman’s latest comments, here are five potential Premier League destinations this summer.
The south coast outfit are still vying for a spot in the Europa League next season and, with Toby Alderweireld set to return to Atletico Madrid after his loan spell ends, Dutch boss Ronald Koeman will be eager to sign a suitable defensive replacement.
Van Dijk would provide the Saints (7/4 with Coral for a top six finish) with a strong unit in their backline and would join winger Eljero Elia as the club’s Dutch connection, if he were to make his move permanent, with £10m seemingly enough to lure the solid centre back away from Scotland.
Van Dijk recently claimed a desire to feature in Europe, and Garry Monk’s Swans are closing in on a Europa League position this term, having enjoyed a superb season so far.
The Welsh outfit are sure to have money to spend after such an impressive top-flight campaign, funds which could be spent wisely on securing the acquisition of Celtic’s courageous sweeper, with the club having already signed Ki Sung-Yueng from the Bhoys in 2012.
It’s clear that Mark Hughes will need defensive reinforcements in the summer, despite rallying to another successful campaign in the top half of the Premier League. Van Dijk represents a suitably strong and intimidating figure that would slot perfectly into the Potters line-up.
On-loan German centre back Philipp Wollscheid has had an indifferent term and it remains unclear whether he will make his loan move permanent at the Britannia Stadium, while Marc Muniesa has been hampered by injuries, meaning the club require a talented central partner for Ryan Shawcross.
Another side in need of a backline boost, with Roberto Martinez sure to be pursuing new defenders after a torrid second half of the season.
John Stones looks like cementing his spot in the heart of the Toffees’ rear-guard for the foreseeable future, but Sylvain Distin, Phil Jagielka and Antolin Alcaraz are all edging towards the end of their careers, proving a new crop of defenders are needed on the blue half of Merseyside.
The Toon would possibly struggle to obtain the funds capable of signing Van Dijk but, with a massive Dutch contingency on Tyneside, the Hoops defender may be persuaded to join them at St James’ Park.
Newcastle (11/2 to be relegated) already possess Siem de Jong, Tim Krul, Daryl Janmaat and Vurnon Anita as their talented Dutch representatives, with Celtic’s classy centre back a possible new Oranje arrival.