Virgil van Dijk to Arsenal: Gunners could make a £7m bid in January for Celtic defender after failing with summer deadline day bid

The 23-year-old has been linked with the a move to the Premier League after the Gunners failed with a late bid for him in September

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The Independent Football

Arsenal have been linked with a January move for Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk in an attempt to ease their problems at the back after a number of injuries left manager Arsene Wenger with a selection crisis on his hands.

Following their summer spending spree that exceeded £80m in landing the likes of Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal are not hugely supported with funds ahead of the January transfer window, and they are highly unlikely to splash out on a major transfer again until the end of the season.

However, reports on Friday morning have once again linked the Gunners with Van Dijk, and a £7m offer is believed to be ready to try and persuade the Scottish champions to part ways with the 23-year-old Dutchman.

Wenger heads into this weekend’s Premier League encounter against Hull with severely limited options available to him, especially in defence. Laurent Koscielny joined Mathieu Debuchy on the sidelines after suffering an Achilles injury while on international duty, and although his injury does not require surgery, the fear is it could result in keeping him out of action for months rather than weeks.


With Debuchy not due to return from an ankle injury until December, Calum Chambers has been forced to step up and has played a prominent role in the start to Arsenal’s season. However, that has left the 19-year-old England international open to attack, and he has already picked up five yellow cards resulting in a one-match suspension that he will serve this weekend. That leaves just Per Mertesacker, Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal left as Wenger’s available first-team options.

With Monreal expected to partner Mertesacker in the centre of defence, 19—year-old Hector Bellerin is expected to start at right-back, having played in the Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund last month. With this all taken into account, it is no surprise that Wenger confirmed at Thursday’s Annual General Meeting that he will move to sign a defender in January, in what he described as a move to “rectify” a problem that stems form not signing another player in the summer.

Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk in action against Barcelona

It has since emerged that Arsenal mounted a late attempt to sign Van Dijk in the summer but ultimately failed with their deadline day bid. But Arsenal are ready to return for the former Netherlands Under-21 international, and remain confident they can add depth to their struggling defence to boost their Premier league title campaign.

Arsenal have also been linked with a move for Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar, although Villa will hold out for around £12m if they are to allow the Dutchman to leave in January. They risk losing him for free in the summer, but manager Paul Lambert is hopeful that Vlaar will sign a new contract if an offer that meets his valuation doesn’t come in during the January transfer window.