Newcastle United have been interested in Dutch center-back Virgil van Dijk for three years now, and were linked with him while he was still at Groningen in Holland, before he signed on at Celtic just less than two years ago in the summer of 2013.
Virgil van Dijk – looking at a move this summer
With Maybe as many as three center-backs leaving Newcastle this summer – Williamson, Steven Taylor and Coloccini – Newcastle will need to bring in at least two new center-backs over the summer – and who they are will depend on whether we are still a Premier League side at the end of the season.
There was news in late August that Newcastle were close to signing Virgil van Dijk and we had let Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa leave for Roma on the last day of the transfer window.
Managing Director Lee Charnley weakly said that we had somebody lined up to replace Mapou, but the deal couldn’t be completed in time, and it was thought that was Virgil van Dijk but why didn’t we try to sign him in January?
Van Dijk has hinted on Dutch radio station Omroep Brabant that he wants a move this summer:
“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.”
“But maybe there will be nothing.” (that’s code for come and get me) “I want to develop. If the opportunity is there, I would definitely consider a transfer. But maybe there will be nothing.”
“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.”
That’s a problem Celtic will always have – they are a great club with a fantastic history and were the first British club to win the European Cup back in 1967 with a 2-1 win over Inter-Milan with one of the great managers – Jock Stein – and that was a year before Manchester United won it.
Celtic were losing 1-0 after seven minutes but scored two goals in the last 30 minutes through Stevie Chalmers (63) and Tommy Gemmell (84) to win it.
But the standard of football is not good north of the border these days, and the top players will always be attracted to play in the Premier League.
Celtic paid around £2.5M for Virgil and they could get anywhere from £8M to £10M for him in the summer, with Sunderland also said to be interested.
And with Dick Advocaat the Dutch coach in charge of the Black Cats now – and likely to get a contract extension at the end of the season – that could put Sunderland as favorites to sign the 23 year-old in the summer.
What do you think?