Gus Poyet and Sunderland are looking to bolster their defensive options this season, and they have turned to Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk in order to do so, reports the Times. The Black Cats have tabled a £6 million bid as they look to bring the Dutchman south of the border and into the Premier League.
The 23 year old centre-back is thought to be keen on the idea of leaving Celtic, after the Scottish champions were dumped out of the Champions’ League on Tuesday night. Having controversially gotten through to the third qualifying round to play against Slovenian side Maribor, Ronny Deila’s men lost the two-leg match and failed to make it into the first round of the competition proper.
As a result, van Dijk is said to favour a move away from Celtic, with Sunderland leading the race to sign him. Poyet has at his disposal the likes of Wes Brown and John O’Shea in defence, but there is little by way of top quality cover for either of those defenders. Van Dijk would also bring to the Black Cats’ backline an element of youth which is currently missing in general.
Sunderland had been looking to sign the Atletico Madrid centre-back, Toby Alderweireld, but saw their offer rejected by the player. It is thought that Alderweireld would rather be playing on the peripherals of a team that competes in Europe, rather than regularly within a team that does not.