Ronald Koeman wants Virgil van Dijk for Southampton

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Football News

Ronald Koeman is expected to make Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk his first signing as Southampton manager.

The former Feyenoord boss has been named the new Saints coach and, according to The Mirror, is keen on bringing his Dutch compatriot to the club amid speculation about Dejan Lovren’s future.

Croatian international Lovren has handed in a transfer request and a number of top clubs, such as Liverpool and Barcelona, are reportedly interested.

22-year-old van Dijk only joined Celtic last summer from FC Groningen in a £2.6million deal, but the Scottish champions have put an £8 million price tag on their Dutch defender.

After featuring in 45 games for Celtic and contributing five goals in the process, Southampton are convinced that he is worth the price tag.

While Celtic know it will be difficult to hold on to van Dijk should clubs like Southampton follow up their interest, the board would be pleased to hang onto the Dutch youngster for another season.

Celtic’s chief executive, Peter Lawwell, has previously stated that he believes van Dijk would be better off staying at Celtic for at least another year.

He said “leaving after just one year here is far too early for him.”

“He has to develop here and we have a manager in Ronny Deila who I think will make him better.”

Lawwell has reportedly spoken to van Dijk’s agent and reiterated his belief that his client would be better off sticking with Celtic, however it is looking increasingly likely that he won’t be playing in a hooped shirt once the new season kicks off in August.

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