Man United must ready a bid after Celtic star is advised to quit

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In the run up to the summer transfer window’s closure, Virgil van Dijk became a distracted figure around the Celtic dressing room as links with moves away from the Scottish giants gathered pace.

The want-away centre-back became so disillusioned with life as a Hoop that he was even dropped for a league game against Dundee United and ordered to stay away from the training ground until he rediscovered his motivation.

So news that the 23-year-old’s former Rangers compatriot, Arthur Numan, has urged the Breda native to seek a top English club at the earliest available opportunity isn’t likely to help matters.

Numan, who believes Van Dijk is now too good for Scottish football, said: “Going to England to play in one of the best clubs in Europe may be better for himself and for the national team.”

If that quote hasn’t been brought to the attention of Manchester United brain trust Louis van Gaal and Ed Woodward, then it should be post-haste.

The Red Devils, who are winless in four games under their new Dutch coach, are desperately short of centre-halves having signed no natural defence-marshallers in the course of the summer window.

Both Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo arrived but are both thought to play more naturally in other positions, so the capture of a new central defender is likely to be high on Van Gaal’s January to-do list.

With Champions League football no longer available at Celtic Park, the Bhoys could be tempted to take the cash for their prized asset if known-spenders United come calling.

Having been called up to Guus Hiddink’s recent Holland squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers, Van Dijk is clearly on the international fringes. But, according to Numan, a move to play in a stronger league will help make a starting spot his own.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.