Are The Manchester Sides Ready To Battle It Out For A Van Dijk Masterpiece?

Virgil van dijk

Rumours are abound that Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk is attracting lots of interest from top clubs in England.

A few of the daily newspapers are reporting both Manchester United and Manchester City are looking at the young Dutchman as they are on the verge of rebuilding their defences. Arsenal have also been credited with an interest.

You can see why he would be in demand, the 22 year old has been a shining light for the ‘Hoops’ this term. He’s big, strong, calm and able to pitch in with a few goals.

But would the English Premier sides part with substantial cash for a player who plays his football in Scotland?

That is a big stumbling block. The top sides in the EPL are very wary of signing someone from Scotland.

There are plenty of Scots and ex-foreign SPL stars that have found a path to the riches of the English Premier League but very few have gone on to play for the major sides like Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea.

Out of those sides only Arsenal currently have a player who has played in Scotland’s top flight. That man is Mikel Arteta and that move only came about after he had proved himself with Everton first.

It was also very telling that Victor Wanyama left Celtic Park to join Southampton in a £12m move last summer.

Like Virgil, Victor is in his early twenties, like van Dijk he was being scouted by the English elite but the reluctance from those sides to come to the table show that there’s a bit of mistrust when dealing with the Scottish market. Wanyama has excelled when fit for the ‘Saints’, so much so that Man City have been sniffing around the Kenyan. Again pointing to the fact that the big clubs wanted to see him in a bigger league before bidding for his services.

Yes David Moyes has delved into the Scottish market whilst he was in charge of Everton but this summer could call for proven stars to join Man Utd’s ranks. Van Dijk could be seen as an experiment and that might not sit well with the United fans, especially if they don’t finish in the ‘Top Four’ this term.

The reports regarding van Dijk also indicate that Celtic will do a deal for £10m. I don’t know if that’s realistic.

Celtic know that the Dutch star has a deal that doesn’t expire until 2017.

Celtic’s Chief Exec Peter Lawwell and coach Neil Lennon will also believe that the defender is on the verge of becoming a regular for the Netherlands. Virgil might not be selected for the Dutch World Cup squad but he will surely be in contention for the Euro 2016 campaign. The centre-back will also be in awards contention come the end of the season and that could push the price up further.

The main issue in Celtic’s favour could be that a few teams are interested and that could force a bidding war. Celtic are in a healthy financial position and that means they can play a bit of hardball with potential suitors. Then you factor in that they may sell Fraser Forster this summer, meaning that they wont be in a rush to sell another defensive stalwart.

So £10m  for me wouldn’t be enough unless the player has a release clause. Should Celtic wait another year and the player does well in the Champions League and gets his international debut, then the price could be closer to £15m.

I believe Virgil van Dijk has all the attributes to make him a star at one of Europe’s top clubs but I’m yet to be convinced that those same sides are willing to do business in Scotland. I hope I’m wrong!

6 Responses to “Are The Manchester Sides Ready To Battle It Out For A Van Dijk Masterpiece?”

  1. “But would the English Premier sides part with substantial cash for a player who plays his football in Scotland”?

    ‘Spurs paid a reported £9mill for Alan Hutton.

    Why would van Djik, a far superior player not interest English clubs?

    The English have been clever in disrespecting Scottish football, and use this excuse to try and pay buttons for Scottish based players.

    It’s time we stopped assisting them with questions… (would the English Premier sides part with substantial cash for a player who plays his football in Scotland”?)…such as yours.

  2. Alan Hutton is a perfect example of why they won’t pay too much.

    I’m not assisting them with anything. Have actually suggested celtic would not & should not do business at £10m. I think they could do better in the long term. But we need to see big teams buying in Scotland first.

  3. was reading this thinking it was sounding like the typical racist anti scots crap you get from ingleesh blogs, so i was surprised to see the header say its a scottish website.
    its about time scottish media sources started getting behind our football. the epl has more money, but its a boring league (albeit the table is exciting this year, even if the football isnt). the spl had a higher goals per game ratio than the epl when i checked two weeks ago.
    i think most of the manyoo squad would struggle to get into the celtic starting xi at the minute. its a very very poor manyoo side, so someone like van dijk would be a stand out. in fact, its so bad ambrose would be a stand out. then the further down you go, the more poor players you find. i reckon this celtic side, which isnt the best in the last 15 years, would challenge the mid table sides in the epl.
    hooper is struggling because he joined a poor side that dont create much. vic has been good (wouldnt say excelled yet) and ledley has had a good start.
    fact is, ingleesh clubs, and press, have a totally unfounded disrespect for scotland, even though we should have won at wembley.

  4. Pure conjecture,
    “scottish Football Website of the year ” 2010 !!

    Once again an example of ‘scottish ‘ media doing their best to sell off the assets of the spfl !
    – why not encourage and promote the scottish leagues to a wider audience instead of orchestrating a campaign to rid the divisions of the quality that exists there
    Piss poor ‘journalism’ with no substance !!

  5. man city copied celtics tactics against barce, so that says a lot about our game and neil lennon.
    barce created nothing at parkhead until brown was sent off. in fact, celtic had the better chances prior to that. even after the red card the didnt create much.
    celtic dominated milan in milan, but the poor finishing thats blighted the season cost them the match.
    after man citys red card barce tore them apart.
    same goes for arsenal. munich taught them a lesson, even before the red card. i fully expect olympiakos to beat manyoo.
    you finished by saying you hoped celtic get more than £10m for van dijk. id go as far as to say i hope they keep him for a few years.
    your article certainly doesnt get behind scottish football. its takes the ingleesh viewpoint that its rubbish. there have been a number of failures, but most go young and dont get a chance. good to see the likes of gauld tellingthem to beat it.
    scottish clubs need to stop accepting a tenner from inglund for their stars. im glad celtic sttod firm against the much smaller club in southampton.

  6. Ok a few points.

    ‘Conjecture’ & ‘No substance’ – Its a blog… The site its called theFootyblog. So its my opinion, not fact.

    Piss poor ‘Journalism’ – Again its a blog. I am not and never once pretended to be a journalist.

    ‘Why not encourage and promote the scottish leagues to a wider audience’ – What like the last two blog pieces I did on Community ownership in Scotland and the Albion Rovers success piece?

    Man City copied Celtic’s tactics? Were Celtic the first side to employ these tactics?

    I didn’t end the article saying I hoped he would leave for £10m. I actually said I hoped that big European sides would do big business in Scotland.

    I also said I believed that he was worth more than £10m. That I didn’t think Celtic would do a deal for £10m and that they would be better off keeping him for at least another year.

    The really big English sides don’t spend their money in Scotland is a fact. I simply pointed it out.

    I am not sure where you saw the article as being racist or anti Scottish but you are wrong on both accounts.

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