Rumour Mill: Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk an £8million target for Norwich City
- Credit: PA
Norwich City are being linked with an £8million bid for Celtic centre-back Virgil van Dijk.
The Scottish Sun quote the high figure for the Dutch defender, which would be around £3m more than the Canaries reportedly paid for Celtic's star striker Gary Hooper in the summer of 2013.
The tabloid report that Celtic assistant manager John Collins has described the 23-year-old as 'the best centre-half in Europe' and that City boss Alex Neil has made the defender his 'number one target'.
Collins is quoted as saying: 'I believe there is currently no better centre-half in Europe than Virgil. I watch Champions League football and Premier League football every week and Virgil is as good as anybody who is playing football in Europe.
'Virgil can play for any team so the important thing is he doesn't think he has to jump ship quick and take the first offer.
'He has to believe in his ability and he can play for a top European club.
'He's at a great club just now and if he keeps working hard then I've no doubt that one day he'll be at a top Champions League club – I'm talking about one of the mega names in Europe.'
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Van Dijk moved to Glasgow in 2013 for a fee of £2.6m from Dutch club Groningen, signing a four-year deal.
The former Holland Under-21 international has since helped the Hoops to win two Scottish Premiership titles and the Scottish League Cup, making 103 appearances and scoring 15 goals, playing in both the Champions League and Europa League.
However, Collins also told Sky Sports yesterday that he did not expect the Dutchman to be leaving this summer, saying: 'Virgil van Dijk is staying, certainly for the Champions League qualifiers.
'He has two years left on his contract. Everyone connected with Celtic loves Virgil. He's a great player and we want him to remain in a Celtic jersey this season.
'He is such an important and commanding player for us. He stops goals going in at one end and scores them at the other so we want to keep him.'
Canaries boss Neil is likely to be in the market for central defensive reinforcements this summer but the £8million fee quoted looks likely to be wide of the mark.
Do you think van Dijk is the sort of player City should try to sign this summer? Leave your comments below.