Author: Tony MacDonald
Published: 12:37 26/08/2015
A host of Premier League clubs are on red alert after Celtic were dumped out of the Champions League, causing transfer speculation surrounding Virgil Van Dijk to intensify.
The Dutch centre-back has been repeatedly linked with a move away from the Glasgow club over the past few transfer windows after a series of commanding performances North of the border. However, as Celtic are now unable to offer Van Dijk Champions League football, it is thought that the 24-year-old is seriously considering his future at the club.
In the wake of Celtic's 4-3 aggregate defeat by Swedish side Malmo, Van Dijk told the BBC "Celtic is an amazing club and I'm very thankful for everything, but if the right opportunity comes then I'll consider it." "I don't know what will happen in the coming days. I've not been talking to anyone. Now that qualification is over we will wait and see. I'm not looking for anything. It's a great place to be and they gave me an opportunity to show myself, so I'm very thankful for that."
Virgil Van Dijk Transfer Betting
Van Dijk is reportedly on a four-man shortlist of defenders that who Southampton are interested in and the clubs have held talks about a potential transfer this summer, so it's little wonder that the bookies consider Saints as front-runners in Club After Summer Transfer Window betting, with 2/5 the best odds available at BetVictor.
Any Hoops fans that are hoping the club can persuade him to stay can get 5/1 with Skybet, while also priced at 5/1 with BetVictor and Ladbrokes, Everton are considered a possible destination and may step up their interest if Chelsea steal John Stones away from Goodison Park.
Skybet price Crystal Palace, Newcastle United and Sunderland at 14/1 as being Van Dijk's new employers at the end of the transfer window, while Betvictor offer the best prices on the remaining outsiders in the hunt for his signature.
Van Dijk is a commanding figure with a big stature belied by his ability on the ball and it will likely take a hefty fee to force a sale. Celtic boss Ronny Deila said before Tuesday night's defeat that he was "tired of talking about him" and reiterated the club's stance afterwards "He is under contract with us, he is a very good football player and a football player we want to keep."