West Ham United have reportedly entered the race to bring Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk to the club, as reported by Talksport.
This puts them in direct competition with Arsenal, who have identified as Van Dijk as an apparent possible improvement to their defence, ahead of a potential move for the Dutch defender in January.
Arsene Wenger has identified his defence as the key position for recruitment in January, having suffered a spate of problems in the back line since the start of the season.
In fact, Wenger targeted Van Dijk for a move on deadline day, but the move could not be pushed through before the transfer window slammed shut.
Van Dijk has consistently impressed for Celtic since joining them, and as a result, several of Europe’s top sides have targeted him.
With Winston Reid’s contract situation worsening, however, and no likely renewal in sight, Sam Allardyce has seemingly turned to Van Dijk as a possible replacement.
This could see either side meeting Van Dijk’s reported £7 million transfer fee before the winter window shuts.
Arsenal are reportedly set to make an £8 million January move for Celtic’s elegant defender Virgil van Dijk, as reported by the Daily Star.
The Gunners’ defensive options have been questionable since the start of the new campaign, and a spate of injuries suffered by key defensive options have put the back line under significant pressure.
The departure of Thomas Vermaelen in the summer to Barcelona, something not seen as much of an issue at the time, has backfired, with the north London side lacking solid options in reserve.
Van Dijk has impressed considerably since joining Celtic, and reports in Scotland are now suggesting that Arsene Wenger is keeping a close eye on the Dutch defender.
He supposedly had him watched during the Scottish club’s Europa League game against Dinamo Zagreb, and, accordingly, is plotting an £8 million move for him.
Manchester United are also thought to be interested, and a battle might brew between the two rivals.
Arsenal and Manchester United target Virgil van Dijk has denied any interest in a move away from Celtic, insisting that he has never asked to leave the club, despite the speculation surrounding him and a potential future transfer to the Premier League, as reported by the Daily Star.
Both clubs reportedly targeted him as a potential £10 million buy during the summer months.
Despite the speculation, the defender never came close to making a move.
There were, however, suggestions that the Dutch bruiser asked for a move away from the Scottish champions this summer, and Van Dijk has moved swiftly to put a dampener on those rumours.
He said: “It’s a compliment for me that the club wanted me to stay but I didn’t say literally I want to leave. Never.
“If there was a chance to go and play Champions League somewhere else at that moment and it was a step forward then I might have considered it.
“But I never said, ‘I want to leave now’. I am focused on Celtic and I am happy here.
“I never had any problem with the gaffer, he’s a good guy.
“I’m happy at Celtic and always will be. This is the club that gave me a chance and I’ve never had problems with anyone here.
“When everyone was saying I wanted to leave and were saying negative things about me it was disappointing.”
Both Man Utd and Arsenal require defensive recruits, with Arsenal’s situation the more pressing. After the injury suffered by Mathieu Debuchy against Manchester City, Arsenal are lacking depth across their defence.
They did, however, manage a huge 3-0 win this weekend away from home against the previously undefeated Aston Villa.