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Arsenal and Manchester United on alert as Celtic star eyes exit

| 12.05.2015

The Premier League’s finest have been put on high alert after in-demand Celtic defender Virgil Van Dijk dropped the biggest hint yet that he is keen to depart the Parkhead club this summer.

Valued at around £10m, the 23-year-old has attracted admiring glances from several clubs in the English top-flight, with The Daily Star among those to report on supposed interest from both Manchester United and Arsenal.

Originally recruited from Dutch Eredivisie outfit Groningen for just £2.6m two years ago, Van Dijk has impressed throughout his time at Celtic Park, earning a place in the PFA Scotland Scottish Premiership Team of the Year for two consecutive seasons.

A two-time Scottish Premiership winner, as well as winner of the Scottish League Cup this season, the Dutchman is nevertheless thought to be keen on a move away from the club.

And speaking in an interview with the Omroep Brabant regional radio station, Van Dijk all but confirmed his intentions for the summer ahead.

“Celtic are a great club with a fantastic stadium and the fans are great,” he said.

“But the competition is not too good.

“I want to develop. If the opportunity is there, I would definitely consider a transfer.”

Despite shining for Celtic and attracting interest from the Premier League, Van Dijk has yet to earn a call-up to the Netherlands’ full national squad.

Capped by the Oranje at under-19 and under-21 level, the 23-year-old could see a move to the English top-flight as an opportunity to force his way into Guus Hiddink’s plans.

Holland have endured a miserable start to qualifying for Euro 2016, with the national team’s defensive frailties highlighted as a particular concern.

A move to the Premier League would allow Van Dijk to test himself in one of Europe’s biggest leagues, though Celtic will be more than happy to hold out for a significant transfer fee.

The Scottish giants previously sold star midfielder Victor Wanyama to Southampton for a hefty £12.5m back in the summer of 2013.

A similar scenario could yet play out involving Van Dijk.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.