Last summer it was variously reported that Arsenal had made a last-minute bid to sign Celtic’s talented Dutch defender Virgil Van Dijk only to be rejected by the Scottish Champions because they had no time to bring in an adequate replacement.
I must admit I was of the opinion that the Gunners would be going back again as soon as the January window opened to ease our ongoing defensive injury problems, but there has been no more mention of the matter, despite the player himself admitting that he would be very keen on making the move to the Emirates.
He said when he first heard about the Arsenal rumours:
“Arsenal are an amazing club,” he said “It’s a big club with a great history but so are Celtic and I’m very happy here just now. I just want to play well and we will see what happens in the future. There are stories but until there are bids I can’t say anything.
“I have ambitions but Celtic is an amazing club with a lot of history.There is no rush to leave but you never know in the future.”
But today it has been reported that Gus Poyet’s Sunderland team are also keen on taking Van Dijk to the Stadium of Light, but are unwilling at the moment to meet Celtic’s valuation of £8million at the present time.
Considering the prices being bandied about for other centre-backs in January, I personally think that £8million does not seem excessive for a 6ft 4in defender who was named as Celtic’s Player of the Year last season is an extortionate sum to pay for the extra cover we need right now. He would certainly be handy alongside Per Mertesacker for this coming weekend’s game against the big men of Stoke City
Who else thinks Wenger should just bite the bullet and pay the money that Celtic want right now?