Arsenal continue to pursue international defender despite deadline day failure

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Arsenal reportedly failed in a deadline day move for Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk, but remain interested in a deal for the Dutch international.

The Gunners' capture of Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck took their summer spending to over £75m, with the England international joining David Ospina, Mathieu Debuchy, Calum Chambers and Alexis Sanchez at the Emirates Stadium as manager Arsene Wenger looks to build on the club's recent FA Cup and Community Shield wins.

However, fans were looking for a centre back to be signed after Arsenal sold Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona in a £15m deal, and whilst rumours suggests that Colombian international defender Mario Yepes is a free agent target for Wenger, reports today speculate that the club failed in a deadline day move for Celtic star Virgil van Dijk.

The 23-year-old Dutch international joined Celtic from Groningen last summer for just £2.6m, but his impressive displays north of the border attracted interest from the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Southampton and Sunderland as Premier League sides flocked to Celtic Park to watch the talented centre back.

An £8m fee is reportedly on van Dijk's head, but it appears that Arsenal failed to meet that valuation on Monday as the deadline passed. However, the Gunners are allegedly still interested in striking a deal in January as Wenger looks to add cover for first choice centre back pairing Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.

Van Dijk is strong and athletic, but he has made teams sit up and take notice because of his goalscoring ability from defence. With a dangerous long range shot in his arsenal and dominance in the air as a result of his 6ft 4in frame, van Dijk is always a threat to get on the score sheet. He's also proven himself to be technically proficient, with good technique, dribbling and passing - all of which would make him a good fit for Arsenal's defence.

With Arsenal still scouting the former Willem II youngster, impressive displays in the coming months could convince Wenger that the £8m asking price would be money well spent.

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