Manchester United urged to sign Virgil van Dijk

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Pat Nevin believes Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk would be the perfect January signing to ease Manchester United's defensive worries.

Speaking to Irish radio station Newstalk on their Off The Ball programme, Nevin criticised Manchester United's summer transfer policy, arguing that United would have been better off strengthening key areas rather than splashing the cash on attackers.

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Man United transfer news

Replacements needed

"If you lose the likes of Ferdinand, Vidic and Evra, you need to sort out your defence," Nevin told Off The Ball.

"They haven't done that. They've started to do [it]. Daley Blind is a good signing and we'll have to see what more they'll do. There is no doubt whatsoever that they need another major centre-half who is powerful, and preferably one who can play from the back.

"I'm almost describing to a tee a player like Van Dijk, who is playing for Celtic at the moment. If I was Manchester United, and Celtic fans wouldn't thank me for it, I'd be on the phone to get Van Dijk down to Manchester United.

"He is absolutely nailed on to be a player who could have done the job. Even if it was for a short period of a year or two, before they got someone who is world class. You never know, Van Dijk could have grown into that."

Arsenal interest

The £10m-rated defender has been linked with United recently, while Arsenal are also thought to be tracking his development in Scotland.

The 23-year-old has confirmed that he never asked to leave Celtic over the summer, amid speculation linking him with United, Arsenal and Southampton.

He was a £2.6m signing from Groningen in 2013, and he impressed in his first full campaign with Celtic last season. He's made 40 appearances for the Scottish champions so far, but it may not be long before he moves on - probably to the Premier League.

United's defensive frailties were there for all to see at the weekend, as Louis van Gaal's side let a 3-1 lead slip to a shocking 5-3 defeat against newly promoted Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.

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