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Rumours: Sunderland target Dutch defender Van Dijk

Sunderland, 9/4 for a top 10 finish, are reported to have made a £6m bid for Celtic centre back Virgil van Dijk, as they continue the quest to reinforce their rearguard.

Black Cats boss Gus Poyet is believed to have seen his transfer overtures rebuffed by in-demand Atletico Madrid defender Toby Alderweireld, leaving Dutch star Van Dijk as his top target. The 23-year-old has done little to quell transfer speculation, adding fuel to the fire following the Bhoys’ Champions League elimination.

Speaking after the disappointing European exit, Van Dijk stated: “It is difficult to say if this defeat will have an influence on my future. I want to play at the highest level.

“Now we have gone into the Europa League. We shall see. Now I’m a Celtic player but the transfer window is open until Monday night.”

This news will only compound the woes of Hoops fans, who have already seen star stopper Fraser Forster depart Celtic Park this summer.

Van Dijk only joined the Glasgow giants last season, transferring from Groningen for a fee of around £2.6m. The Netherlands Under-21 international made 47 appearances last term, and helped the Hoops to the Scottish Premier League title.

If Sunderland, 5/1 to be relegated, are to be successful in luring Van Dijk to the Stadium of Light, they will have to fend of the rumoured interest of Premier League rivals Newcastle United and Southampton. Spanish side Sevilla, who have cash to splash after selling centre half Federico Fazio to Tottenham, are also believed to be keen on acquiring the Dutchman.

Manchester United, meanwhile, are said to have revived their interest in Sporting Lisbon star William Carvalho, and are 2/1 to snap him up before the end of the transfer window. After raiding the Portuguese giants for defender Marcos Rojo, the Red Devils are expected to return for the talented midfielder, who is also available at 6/4 to join apparent long-term admirers Arsenal before the summer market closes.

With Carvalho possibly headed for an Old Trafford entrance, Wilfried Zaha is reported to be on his way to the exit. The 21-year-old England international could finally be returning to former club Crystal Palace on a temporary basis, following the appointment of new coach Neil Warnock, with the Eagles expected to fork out £1.5m in loan fees.

Warnock told Coral’s media partners Talksport: “I did speak to him last night. I spent half an hour telling him why I want him to come back and I’m optimistic we are going to do it today.”

Zaha’s current clubmate and compatriot Danny Welbeck is also tipped to leave the Red Devils this summer, and has been long-rumoured with a switch to the Gunners. It is reported that Arsene Wenger has dismissed links to the Three Lions forward, however, along with apparent interest in strikers Nikola Zigic and Radamel Falcao.