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.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £25 in free bets.