Virgil van Dijk tells Celtic he wants to leave before the transfer deadline

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Virgil van Dijk has created somewhat of headache for under-pressure Celtic manager Ronny Delia, with speculation suggesting that the Arsenal target has asked to leave the Scottish Premiership champions before Monday's transfer deadline.

The Hoops - who were given a second chance to progress to the group stages of this season's Champions League after Legia Warsaw were kicked out of qualifying after they were found to have fielded an ineligible player during their win over Celtic - failed to secure their place in Europe's elite club competition on Tuesday following a disappointing home defeat to Slovenian side Maribor.

Now, according to The Daily Express, central-defender Van Dijk is convinced that he wants to depart Parkhead following that aforementioned loss, with the Dutchman believed to have informed Delia of his stance on his immediate future.

Van Dijk reputation

Since joining Celtic from Gronigen in 2013, Van Dijk has gone on to establish himself as one of the club's key performers and indeed one of the very best defenders in Scottish football.

He made 35 domestic appearances for the club in his first season, netting five goals as Celtic won their 45th title in what was to be Neil Lennon's final campaign in charge at Parkhead.

The abundance of praise he has received during his short stint in Glasgow would appear to have convinced Van Dijk that he is good enough to move to a club with genuine Champions League aspirations.

Losing such a key player will come as a big blow for Celtic and Delia, although they can of course choose to ignore his requests if they so wish.

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Arsenal boost?

Van Dijk's decision to seek an swift exit will likely come as a huge boost for English Premier League outfit Arsenal.

Having seemingly missed out on Greek international Kostas Manolas to Roma, speculation earlier this week suggested that the Gunners were pondering a £10 million swoop for Van Dijk.

While a new striker does not look to be on the agenda for Arsene Wenger despite the loss of Olivier Giroud to a foot injury, the Frenchman could presumably be convinced to further bolster his defence before the window slams shut in just a few days' time.

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