Arsenal closing in on defensive star

Arsenal are closing in on Virgil van Dijk and are set to open talks with Celtic for the defender, according to reports from the Daily Star.

The Dutch centre-back is rumoured to be Arsene Wenger’s top target for the January transfer window, with adding more options at the heart of his backline a concern for the Frenchman.

Following the sale of Thomas Vermaelen, the Gunners’ lack of cover at the back has been ruthlessly exposed, with the likes of Calum Chambers and Nacho Monreal having had to play out of position to cover for injuries and suspensions.

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Van Dijk, 23, has been a real star for Celtic since his move to the club from Groningen last year, with many fans and pundits suggesting that he’s now outgrown football north or the border.

The Bhoys are desperate to keep their man, but reports claim the Glasgow outfit’s financial situation means they will be unable to fend off significant offers.

Van Dijk, if signed, is likely to be a backup for Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, but he could still expect regular playing time due to Arsenal’s European and domestic commitments.

West Ham’s Winston Reid is another option.