Arsenal are reportedly considering an £8 million swoop for Celtic defender, Virgil van Dijk in an attempt to balance their defensive crisis. Some media reports have it that the player’s was in London this weekend to hold discussion with Arsenal officials ahead of a potential January move. The Dutch centre-back has been linked with a switch to the Emirates after impressing with the Scottish Premiership side, while former Arsenal star, Ray Parlour, believes the Celtic star can help put an end to the defensive woes of Arsene Wenger’s side.
Injuries to Mathieu Debuchy and Laurent Koscieny have left ArseneWneger with defensive worries and Parlour claims the club must splash the cash on the centre-back in the January transfer window.
“Van Dijk would be a good signing,” he said at the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show. “Arsenal look really short at the back. Koscieny is out for a little while, which is another blow.
“Arsene is just hoping that he can get through to January. He’s got to go out and buy a couple of defenders.
“He needs to strengthen if they are going to have a serious run on the Premier League title. You need to have a big squad.”
The Scottish champions may struggle to keep the centre-back in January after failing to qualify for the Champions’ League group stage.
Wenger, who tried and failed with several defensive targets in the summer, confirmed at the club’s Annual General Meeting that he would enter the market with the hope of signing more players so as to fortify the squad.
Wenger said: “I believe we have done remarkably well on the transfer market. I agree we could have bought one more player, [but] we did not find one.
“We will try to rectify that, because we are a bit short, and overall I think we will rectify that in the transfer market in January.”
It is however unlikely that Arsenal will sign a top defensive midfielder as well because the club only has around £20 million available to spend, according to sources. It seems likely they will go for a midfielder next summer, although Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira will only be an option if he lowers his £200,000 a-week demands.
Arsenal chief executive, Ivan Gazidis stressed at Thursday’s Annual General Meeting that, despite club profits and cash reserves, they have to sensible. Arsenal ‘s most recently published accounts showed a cash reserve of £173 million, but Ivan Gazidis also used the meeting to explain explain that the vast majority of that money has now been spent. The Arsenal Supporter’s Trust estimates the available transfer funds to be £40 million,Gazadis clearly believes that it is still too high.
Gazidis said: “I have to always keep a substantial amount of cash in reserve at all times in order to comply with our debt obligations.”
It is understood that a late effort was made to sign 23-year old Van Dijk at the end of the recent summer transfer window but failed as a result of several agreements which could not be reached.
Arsenal signed Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck, Debuchy Chambers and David Ospina during the summer but with the defensive injury woes, the Emirates will seek to bid for Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk once again.