Sunderland withdraw from race for £8m van Dijk - Advantage Arsenal and Spurs?

Sunderland have reportedly withdrawn from the race to sign Virgil van Dijk from Celtic.

The Chronicle claims Sunderland are unlikely to make a move for Celtic defender Vrigil van Dijk because of Celtic’s £8 million asking price.

Gus Poyet’s side were reportedly pulling clear in the race to sign the highly coveted defender, but it seems that the Scottish side’s price tag is a step too far for the North East giants.

That could have the advantage to Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, who have both been linked with van Dijk over the past few weeks.

Arsene Wenger has been tipped to make a defensive signing in the current transfer window and van Dijk could fit the bill in terms of quality and price.

An extra centre back for the Gunners would certainly stop the boss having to play individuals out of position, when his first choice central defenders are unavailable.

Tottenham are in a similar situation, with Mauricio Pochettino likely to need another defender at White Hart Lane, if the club chooses to sell Younes Kaboul to Besiktas.

Pochettino seems to have stumbled across his ideal centre back pairing in the form of Federico Fazio and Jan Vertonghen, but there are plenty of reports doing the rounds he could add another defender before the end of the month.

The fee certainly wouldn’t be a problem for either North London side if Sunderland are out of the race and it may even play into Celtic’s hands if Arsenal and Spurs create a bidding war against each other.

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