Arsenal preparing van Dijk bid

Arsenal are said to be considering making a £7 million bid for Celtic centre back Virgil van Dijk, according to The Daily Mail.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is faced with a serious shortage of cover in defensive positions having lost a host of players to injury in recent weeks.

French international Laurent Koscielny is the latest Arsenal defensive player to break down. This follows the news that new signing Mathieu Debuchy is out injured at least until Christmas, while other defensive options Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal have both already had fitness issues this season.

The crisis was compounded by the summer sales of Thomas Vermaelen and Bacary Sagna, who have not been replaced. But now Wenger’s hand appears to have been forced, and he confirmed this week that Arsenal would be looking to sign a new central defender during the January transfer window.

Dutch ace van Dijk appears to be a likely candidate, after enquiries were made on transfer deadline day in August, but no agreement being reached with his current club Celtic.

The Breda born 23-year-old joined the Scottish champions from FC Groningen last summer for a fee of around £2.6 million. During his first season, in which the Bhoys inevitably won the Scottish Premier League, van Dijk made 47 appearances in all competitions and was part of the Celtic defence that broke the Scottish record for longest period without conceding a goal. He has been selected in several national squads for the Netherlands, although has yet to win a senior cap.

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