Celtic's Virgil van Dijk is ideal transfer target for Norwich City
PUBLISHED: 10:34 25 June 2015 | UPDATED: 12:20 27 June 2015
Bringing in Virgil van Dijk would be right up Norwich City's street - but it would be an achievement to bring him to Carrow Road.
That’s the view of pundit and former Scottish international Pat Nevin who, as soon as the Canaries were promoted to the Premier League in last month’s play-off final, earmarked the Celtic centre-half as the ideal transfer target for Alex Neil this summer.
However since reports in Scotland that Norwich were preparing an £8m bid for the towering Dutchman, Garry Monk’s Swansea have been added to a list of suitors that already included Sunderland, Southampton and Tottenham. Reports have also since emerged that City could be willing to use Gary Hooper in a potential swap deal for the Dutchman.
“See any manager that comes down, he goes and looks at his past and what he’s been watching and seeing,” said Nevin.
“So if you are Alex Neil, you’re looking at what you played against and what you’ve seen in Scotland, and can you grab anything from there?
“And there is really only one up there. If he could get Virgil van Dijk – and I think he could actually do better than Norwich – then Alex would take him in a second.”
The weekend also saw Van Dijk described by Celtic manager John Collins as the best centre-back in Europe, while vowing the 23-year-old won’t be going anywhere before Celtic’s qualification bid for the group stages of the Champions League is concluded.
With those play-offs not scheduled to be completed until late August, it could well draw out the tussle over Van Dijk’s future all the way to the summer deadline day of September 1.
Whether that particular move comes off or not for the Norwich boss, Nevin is ecstatic City sought out the Scot as their new manager at the start of the year.
“I was absolutely delighted for Norwich (on promotion), but in a very personal way for Alex Neil,” added Nevin.
“If you weren’t looking at Scottish football or close to it, there was every excuse to say ‘who’? when he went in. But everybody up there in Scotland looked at it and thought, yes that’s clever, I like that.
“It’s a great fit for Norwich.”