Why Newcastle’s £8m bid for Celtic star could hinge on Maribor

Magpies fans may become supporters of NK Maribor next week, with any win for the Slovenian side over Celtic paving the way for a Virgil Van Dijk bid.

Newcastle United have once again been linked with a move for Celtic defender Virgil Van Dijk, but any bid for the Dutchman could well hinge on Celtic’s progress in Europe.

Various news sources have reported that the Toon are reportedly looking to rekindle their interest in the 23-year-old, who has attracted attention from the likes of Tottenham and Manchester United over the past few months.

Newcastle are keen to add another defender to their ranks, with Steven Taylor rumoured to be heading for the St James’ Park exit and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa also thought to have been deemed surplus to requirements, though the Magpies have so far failed to offload the France international.

Valued at £8 million by the Scottish Premiership champions, Van Dijk is thought to be keen on a move to England, with any Premier League switch likely to increase his chances of earning a place in the Holland national team setup.

The 23-year-old has been capped for the Oranje at under-19 and under-21 level, but has yet to earn a call-up to the senior side.

But while Newcastle are thought to be keen on completing a deal for the defender, any move could hinge on whether Celtic can progress past NK Maribor in the Champions League.

The Bhoys earned a 1-1 draw in Slovenia last night, with Callum McGregor finding the net for the Hoops for the third successive away game in Europe.

A 0-0 draw or victory at home would be enough to earn Celtic a place in the group phase of Europe’s premier competition and could see Van Dijk delay a move away from the club for another season.

Signed from Groningen for £2.6 million back in June 2013, the Dutch youngster played 47 times for the Bhoys in all competitions last term and was named in the PFA Scotland Scottish Premiership Team of the Year.

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