Frank de Boer warns Virgil van Dijk against January transfer

Virgil van Dijk is valued at around £9m. (©GettyImages)

Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their alleged pursuit of Virgil van Dijk after Frank de Boer claimed the Dutch defender needs to finish his football education at Celtic before considering a move to the Premier League. (The Express)

The 23-year-old has attracted admiring glances from south of the border after impressing for the Scottish champions since joining from FC Groningen in 2013.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is on the lookout for a new centre-back and has identified the £9 million-rated Celtic stopper for a potential January move to the Emirates.

Manchester United are also thought to be monitoring Van Dijk's development as Louis van Gaal weighs up a rival bid to lure his compatriot to Old Trafford.

However, De Boer is adamant that a mid-season move would be premature, and although he's not surprised by recent speculation has urged him to see out the season at Celtic Park.

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"It is no surprise to me that he is being linked with clubs like Arsenal and Manchester United," De Boer told the Scottish Daily Record. "They are both in the situation where they could use another top central defender and they are not easy to find.

"I am sure that he could be a success for any club in Europe, but Celtic will know exactly what they have and no coach will ever want to sell in January."

De Boer added: "It is such a difficult window to sign players that you don't want to lose your best one during it.

"It would be good for him to win trophies in the SPL first before he thinks about anything else – it will all be a part of his education."

Arsenal gossip:

Check out all the latest Arsenal news and transfer gossip from today.

Arsenal are preparing a January move for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling as Arsene Wenger looks to address his problems at the back as soon as the transfer window reopens. (The Express)

The £10 million-rated centre-back has been deemed surplus to requirements by Louis van Gaal and could be allowed to link up with Arsene Wenger at the Emirates.

Germany manager Joachim Low has warned Lukas Podolski he might be forced to leave Arsenal if he can't persuade Arsene Wenger to give him more first-team football. (The Mirror)

Podolski is yet to start a Premier League or Champions League game this season, playing a grand total of just 169 minutes for the Gunners across eight appearances in all competitions.

Arsenal have been offered the chance to sign Manchester City outcast Matija Nastasic in January. (

Manuel Pellegrini is happy for the Serbian centre-back to leave the Etihad Stadium after falling out of first-team favour, and the Emirates could be a possible destination given the Gunners' defensive problems.

Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their alleged pursuit of Lars Bender after Barcelona joined the race to sign the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder. (talkSPORT)

The 25-year-old had been identified by Arsene Wenger for a possible move to north London, but those plans are now at serious risk of being hijacked by the Spanish giants at Camp Nou.

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