Celtic chief invites ‘crazy bids’ for £8m Man Utd target Van Dijk


John Collins has admitted it would take a big offer for the Bhoys to part with Virgil van Dijk, who has been linked to Southampton and Newcastle United.

The Premier League duo of Newcastle United and Southampton look set to be priced out of any move for Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk, with assistant manager John Collins seemingly calling on the likes of Manchester United to put up or shut up if they are keen on the Dutchman.

Van Dijk has been on the Red Devils radar for much of the past year, with the club keen to recruit a defender regarded as one of the best playing north of the border.

A change of management has seen that interest cool in recent weeks though, with Southampton and Newcastle emerging as potential destinations.

But with new United boss Louis van Gaal still busy with Holland at the World Cup, the conclusion of the football festivities in Brazil could prompt the former Ajax and Barcelona manager to have another look at the Dutchman.

Signed by the Bhoys from FC Groningen back in June 2013, the 22-year-old impressed during his debut season in Scotland, starring as part of the Hoops defence that went 1,215 minutes without conceding a goal.

That was enough to initially catch the eye of Manchester United, who now could rekindle their pursuit of the defender, though any successful deal could come at a hefty price.

Speaking to the Daily Record this week, Celtic assistant manager John Collins moved to warn suitors off a move for Van Dijk, while seemingly inviting a blockbuster bid from a team of United’s calibre.

“When you have good players there is always going to be speculation and teams interested in them, so no problem with that at all,” he told the news provider.

“We would love to keep all the top players but everyone knows if crazy bids come in you never know.”

With Louis van Gaal keen to usher in a new era at Old Trafford, the acquisition of the talented youngster would represent a major step forward for a club previously reliant on the recently departed ageing duo of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.

Van Dijk, meanwhile, would undoubtedly jump at the chance to play alongside the likes of Robin van Persie and force his way into the Holland national team setup.

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