Celtic’s early exit from this season’s Champions League may pave the way for highly-rated Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk to move to Newcastle United.
The 23-year-old is thought to be keen on a move away from Parkhead, having set his sights on a switch to the Premier League after impressing for the Hoops last term.
Newcastle have also emerged as the frontrunners to sign the defender, with the Chronicle even reporting that Celtic had informed the Magpies that a bid of £8 million would be enough to prise the former Groningen star away from the club.
And the Toon’s hopes of recruiting the youngster will have been boosted further by Celtic’s early European exit, which saw the Hoops go down 6-1 on aggregate to Polish side Legia Warsaw in the third qualifying round of UEFA’s top cup competition.
The opportunity to play Champions League football may have been enough to convince van Dijk to remain at Parkhead for another season but with the Bhoys now dropping down to the Europa League, the Dutchman could opt to push through any potential Newcastle move.
Signed in June 2013 for a bargain £2.6 million, van Dijk made 47 appearances for Celtic last term, scoring five goals in all competitions along the way.
Newcastle United may be the current favourites to land the defender, but the Dutch star has previously courted interest from the likes of Manchester United.
Born in Breda, a move to the Premier League could also boost van Dijk’s opportunities with the Holland national team.
The 23-year-old has represented the Oranje and under-19 and under-21 level and was named in last season’s Scottish Premiership Team of the Year.
Van Dijk would potentially be the seventh new arrival at Newcastle this summer, with the Toon enjoying a busy summer of spending so far.