It looks like Celtic are finally willing to sell their Dutch U21 International center-back Virgil van Dijk, who has been at Celtic for two years now, and Newcastle were interested in him while he was still playing for Groningen in Holland..
In fact almost exactly a year ago, there were various reports in the Scotsman saying that Newcastle were trying to sign the 24 year-old Dutchman, but it didn’t go through – after we had allowed Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa to leave for Roma on the last day of last summer’s transfer window.
Virgil van Dijk – available for transfer
Managing Director Le Charnley has since said that Newcastle had a player lined up to replace Mapou, but that we couldn’t do the deal in the time that was left – so maybe that was van Dijk.
The clubs said to be interested in the 6’4″ center-back do not include Newcastle however, but Southampton, Sunderland and Everton are all said to be interested – with Stoke City today said to be preparing a bid for the skillful defender.
Celtic scout David Moss has said this today about Celtic’s transfer strategy:
“It is very difficult recruiting the right players for Celtic for the following reasons. Premier League clubs receive £80M-£100M each year from SKY/BT in comparison to the approximate £2.5M Celtic receive.”
“We therefore cannot compete for players in the Premier League and even against most Championship clubs.” “We are targeting players valued under £2.5M.”
“But we are still seeking players who can compete in Champions League games and have the potential to be sold to the Premier League or other top European teams within two years.”
“In recent seasons we have done well working to this strategy with Fraser Forster, Victor Wanyama and Gary Hooper selling for £10M, £12M and £6M respectively.”
“Virgil van Dijk will also probably be sold for in excess of these figures in the coming weeks.”
The news is that both the Saints and the Black Cats have bid for the Dutchman but have had their bids turned down – and it seems that Stoke City will be the next club to make an offer.
With Steve McClaren now the head coach, it’s difficult to know if Newcastle may be interested in still signing van Dijk – maybe not – but Celtic are willing to sell – for the right fee.
Newcastle have been linked with Monaco center-back Aymen Abdennour, who may be our number one target – but if Newcastle could get van Dijk through the door, we’d be happy enough.
Virgil has played 112 times for Celtic over the last two seasons with 15 goals, and would probably cost up to £10M.