Sunderland target van Dijk urges Celtic to cash-in

Wes Brown in action for Sunderland during their 2-0 win away to Everton. Picture by FRANK REID
Wes Brown in action for Sunderland during their 2-0 win away to Everton. Picture by FRANK REID
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Sunderland target Virgil van Dijk has urged Celtic to cash-in on interest from the Premier League this summer.

The Black Cats have been tracking centre-half van Dijk for the past year, but they are not alone with Everton, Southampton and Arsenal also keeping tabs on the Dutchman.

Celtic have placed a £10million asking price on van Dijk’s head, despite the 23-year-old’s lack of any Premier League experience.

It is understood they would accept a smaller figure, but Sunderland still face having to pay out more than £6m.

But van Dijk has reiterated that he wants to leave the SPL champions this summer and make the move south, and says Celtic cannot afford to dally in finalising a sale.

“I’m learning in Scotland every day, but I also know there is more,” he told the press in his native Holland.

“I want more. It’s time for the next challenge.

“I am 24 this year, I’m ready for something new - more pressure, better opponents.

“There has been interest every summer and winter, especially from the Premier League.

“I stood there open to it. But Celtic decided not to sell me at that time.

“Yes, I was disappointed.

“They must understand that as a footballer, sometimes it’s time to make a move.

“Of course the Champions League millions are important for Celtic, but they cannot dismiss any interest.

“If the correct amount is placed on the table, then they will really think about it, yes.

“If Celtic want to earn money from me, the club must act now.”

Sunderland are expected to be in the market for two new central defenders this summer, despite reports today that veteran Wes Brown could still be offered a one year contract extension.

Van Dijk, along with last season’s loanee Sebastian Coates, have been targeted to fill those two voids.