Tottenham Hotspur have emerged as contenders to sign highly-rated Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk this January after the Dutchman was identified as a key January transfer target.
According to a report from The Express, the 23-year-old has been targeted by the north London club and their new head of recruitment and analysis Paul Mitchell, who moved to White Hart Lane from Southampton earlier this season.
Mitchell is believed to have previously engineered Southampton’s unsuccessful £8 million summer bid for the Holland international, with the renowned Premier League talent-spotter enjoying a healthy track record of success in bringing Celtic stars down from Scotland to the English top-flight.
Both Victor Wanyama and Fraser Forster were recruited from the Bhoys with the pair now thriving at Mitchell’s former employers Southampton.
And while Celtic previously rejected the Saints’ £8 million bid for the defender, Tottenham are rumoured to be preparing an offer of £10 million for the former Groningen stopper.
Van Dijk is thought to be keen on sealing a move to the Premier League, where regular top-flight appearances could see the youngster cement his place in Guus Hiddink’s plans of the Holland national side.
The 23-year-old earned his first call-up to the senior Netherlands squad back in September but has yet to feature for the Oranje national side.
Capped at both under-19 and under-21 level, a move to the Premier League could see the defender force his way into the national team picture.
A former Eredivisie star, Van Dijk arrived at Celtic from Groningen in the summer of 2013 on a four-year contract, with the Bhoys paying his Dutch employers £2.6 million.
Last season the defender was named in the PFA Scotland Scottish Premiership Team of the Year and has previously attracted interest from Newcastle United and Manchester United among others.