Andy Walker: Van Dijk will leave before window closes

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Ex-Celtic striker and Sky Sports pundit Andy Walker thinks Virgil Van Dijk will be plying his trade in the English Premier League next season - regardless of whether Celtic makes the Champions League group-stage or not.

Walker, like so many others, has watched Van Dijk develop tremendously since his £2.6 million move from Groningen in the summer of 2013.

It has been made abundantly clear for quite a while that Van Dijk has a burning ambition to be capped for the Netherlands, and thinks his best chance is a move to the Premier League due to the lack of competition in Scotland, owed largely to the downfall of Rangers.


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This is perhaps why Walker, and others, see no other way out for Celtic than to grant Van Dijk's wish, whilst cashing in on a player that the club paid modestly for.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, he said: "There is a desire on the player's part to go down and play in the Premier League and I don't know if the carrot of the Champions League will be enough to keep him at the club, if Celtic get there. 

"But Celtic will be aware of the fact there is business to be done and remember this is a player who only cost £2.5m when he signed two years ago.

"Celtic have done good business in the past by selling on players that they have bought cheaply - the likes of Gary Hooper and Victor Wanyama spring to mind - and I think that by the end of the transfer window Van Dijk will be playing his football in England somewhere."

This news could perturb the Celtic support as just when it looked as though they had a new, solid, defensive partnership of Van Dijk and Dedryck Boyata, the team will once again go through a phase of uncertainty and anxiousness.

Last season's loan revelation of Manchester City's Jason Denayer had built up a formidable relationship with the the Dutchman under Ronny Deila, but yet again the Bhoys faithful watched in despair as City told Celtic they would not be extending Denayer's stay in Glasgow's east-end. 

Van Dijk, who has scored 13 goals in 72 appearances for the Parkhead side, would command a fee of £10 million.

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