Southampton to beat Arsenal to defensive lynchpin

Southampton have stepped ahead of Arsenal in the race for highly-rated Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk, with the Daily Mail having revealed that scouts from the club have been paying close attention to him recently.

The Dutch defender is considered to be one of the best players in Scottish football and has played a big part in the Bhoys’ recent successes.

Even though he hasn’t represented the Netherlands at international level, Van Dijk was thought to be on the fringes of making the Oranje’s selection for the 2014 World Cup on the back of a fine season in Glasgow.

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Arsenal were heavily linked with moves for the 23-year-old over the winter period, but it appears that Southampton are now winning the battle.

Van Dijk has netted 10 goals from centre-back for Celtic this season, and could be used as a replacement for loanee Toby Alderweireld, whose long-term future is unclear.

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